If you're like my grandmother, you miss "Matlock"
and the sorry-ass boring shit he got himself into. Luckily, Albert
Brooks has made "TheMuse", a movie that will keep the
Matlock crowd from putting any strain on their pacemakers. I
mean, this movie has all the excitement of Free Cheese Day at
the senior center, with none of the cheese.ages. Under Stone's tutelage, McDowell goes from homemaker
to super-famous cookie baker in about one week's time. And the
ending is the type of corny shit you'd expect to find in a clogged
toilet at the Iowa state fair. I won't give it away other than
to say it is super-lame when Stone disappears only to reappear
as a studio exec who buys Brooks' stupid fish movie.
Now, before my older readers think I am making fun of them, I'm
not. I'm just saying they are old, boring, like to repeat themselves
and watch really boring shit on TV about World War I and the
big cats of the Serengeti. "The Muse" will delight
them with its comatose pacing. I like Albert Brooks, and I highly
recommend "Defending Your Life" and "Lost in America",
but you're better off renting either of those than paying the
Hollywood Film Cartel eight bucks for this mistake.
In "The Muse", Albert Brooks plays a screenwriter who
has made a long and decent career out of writing screenplays
that get made into movies that are not shown in this one. He's
comfortable, lives in a big fucking house in a fancy neighborhood,
and has a sweet Mercedes to tool around in. But now he's lost
his edge. The studios no longer want his shit. He doesn't know
why they don't, but they tell him his career is over.
Brooks' friend, played by Jeff Bridges, introduces him to a real,
live muse. Apparently, the original nine muses were some serious
mystical shit, inspiring all those old Greek guys who wrote long,
unrhyming poems and plays about incest. Sharon Stone is a muse
and if Brooks can ingratiate himself with her, he will be inspired
to write a great script.
The problem is, to win her favor Brooks must buy her expensive
shit from Tiffany's and serve her every whim. This, to mostly
unfunny effect, drives Brooks crazy. First, he has to put her
up in a suite that costs twice per night what my car costs ($850),
and he must be her chauffeur. Then, she decides she doesn't like
the hotel, and Brooks has to move his office out of his guest
house and put her in there. Finally, she moves into the house
and becomes his wife's (Andie McDowell) confidante. All this
time, Brooks moans and whines, but he is inspired without hardly
Brooks' new script is a success, and it turns out as no surprise
to anyone that Stone is an escaped lunatic. We are left wondering
whether the movie is a commentary on Hollywood or on mental instability,
and either way knowing it didn't tell us anything new.
The good news is that the movie isn't quite as lame as it sounds.
It's close, but there are a few moments where I chuckled. They
are all almost exclusively when Brooks is taking Hollywood's
own shit-encrusted fuck stick and ramming it right back up their
asses. First is the grating 22-year old studio exec who looks
like he should be pretending he's a hot shot in the screenplay
aisle at Barnes and Noble. Second are the funny cameos like Martin
Scorsese showing up as a motormouth Martin Scorsese. This is
how I have always imagined him, actually, and is why I have never
invited him over for dinner. Third is the really terrific scene
with Jeff Bridges playing tennis and sucking smelly ass.
The role of the screenwriter in Hollywood has never been protrayed
more truly than here, I'm guessing. I always figured it involved
more schmoozing and bullshit than actual talent, and that's how
it looks in "The Muse". You have to give Albert Brooks
credit, he tends to portray things as they actually appear, instead
of through all that Vaseline Hollywood likes to put on the camera
lens and their dicks.
The bad news is that everything else in "The Muse"
stinks worse than a Forest Service Port-a-Pot. We're supposed
to sympathize with a man living in la-dee-fucking-da Pacific
Palisades, who drives a Mercedes and has had seventeen screenplays
made into movies. He's got a shitload of money, a beautiful wife,
and nice kids, and his biggest problem is he wrote a bad script
and it's caused him to doubt himself. We never even see whether
he ever was a good writer or just a lucky fuck, which I imagine
is what most screenwriters are. We never see his work, so we
never respect what he has lost. So long as I don't know the guy,
I feel toward him the way I feel toward all people with Mercedes
in L.A.: they can go fuck themselves.
What's worse is that when he is inspired to write a great screenplay,
he comes up with a Jim Carrey comedy where he inherits a marine
park full of dying fish. It could be the biggest thing he's ever
written, we're told. Is this supposed to make us happy for him?
It isn't fucking funny, and so we as the audience aren't along
for the ride every time some asshole on screen bursts out laughing
at the very premise of a seal with a cast on its flipper. From
where I sat, Albert Brooks' character looked like a guy who was
a hack, is a hack, and always will be a hack.
Sharon Stone has the comedic timing of my eight dollar Rolex.
In "The Muse", she makes you laugh about as often as
a doctor in a Tijuana free clinic would. Her character is flighty,
impetuous and reliable, but not in any way lovable. She's not
even likeable when she takes off her clothes and we think for
a moment there will be some hot girl-girl action. There isn't.
The scenes drag worse than a 400-pound cross-dresser. Many times,
I sat there wondering what the point of an on-screen exchange
was. The scene wasn't funny, it wasn't important to the plot,
it was just two people eating or making cookies. Perhaps Brooks
knows better than us what the senior citizens want, and it's
more big-screen cooking. The jokes are mostly lame or lifeless.
A lot of times I honestly couldn't tell whether a joke had been
told or not. Sometimes that makes me feel stupid, but mostly
I just felt smart for not being desperate enough to laugh at
The plot is sloppy and weak. Brooks expects us to believe a lot
of shit just because it makes the story work. We are told by
some doctors from an asylum that Stone's character is a nut who
briefly escapes once every five years. Yet, she seems to know
everyone in Hollywood and is responsible for many movies made
in the past couple years, like she's been there for
I'm not mad at Albert Brooks, just confused because I thought
he was better than this. I'm giving "The Muse" two
fingers, and I'll tell Brooks that if he wants us to care
about the career of upper-class whiners, he'd better make their
predicaments funnier or having to do with naked chicks.
And something else, not related to "The Muse." I heard
from a friend that Fran Drescher likes it up the ass.