Ok...those who know me know that I like a little quirkiness every now and then. It's mostly in my music, but sometimes in my movies. I love Albert Brooks movies too. Broadcast News single handedly made me want to be an executive producer in TV news and sparked me to enter Radio/TV/Film in college. The night I am writing this spotlight happens to be THE night I actually watched The Muse. It was adorable, quirky, quite funny and just a relaxing movie to watch. Let me tell you all about it...
The dialogue in Brooks' movies always comfort me, humor me and make me feel so down-to-Earth. I think, for the most part, people are insecure about a lot of things. And in the same vein as Woody Allen, Brooks does an excellent job of being the average Joe who cannot catch a break. Yes his characters can get annoying (they actually seem to annoy most of the women I know), but that is his forte. The key to Brooks is making a movie with intelligent, humorous dialogue and memorable characters who touch us in some way, if even to annoy us. The realism he brings to the screen always intrigues me.
In The Muse, Brooks does what has been done in several movies, and that is present Hollywood making fun of Hollywood. They tried it in Bowfinger, with some success, Get Shorty, with MUCH success, and now The Muse. Now, I'm not a big Sharon Stone fan (acting that is), but she pulls off her character very well as the Muse. She is self-absorbed, whiny and demanding. Ok, maybe she did not need to do that much acting, but she looks great on the screen and is very believable as a beautiful inspiration to middle-aged men.
Albert, for the second time that I know of, plays a Hollywood career man. He is a screenwriter who has "lost his edge." His movies have become stale and the studio he had signed a deal with drops him. Suddenly he is out of work and old news. The scene where he tries to meet with Steven Spielberg and is issued a "walk on" pass to the studio rather than a "drive on" pass indicated just how fast Hollywood can love ya, then spit ya out as used up food.
Desperately searching for some sort of inspiration to bring him back his edge, he goes to visit his best friend Jack, played by Jeff Bridges. Jack has had recent success in Hollywood, including an Oscar, and attributes it to a Muse. It takes some convincing, but Brooks' desperation leads him to try anything. He soon begins doing whatever it takes to win the Muse's interest as a prospective "client."
Without telling you the whole story, the meat of the movie centers around what the Muse does (or doesn't do) to help bring him inspiration. The situations, dialogue and unbelievable things that happen while trying to build back Brooks' edge have even the audience suckered in to the Muse's abilities. By the end of the movie (and I cannot give away too much), everyone in the movie and watching the movie are dumbfounded by the things that happen just by trying and how silly things we could do every day are chalked up to the inspiration or brilliance of others.
It is such a cute movie, perfect for couples who just want a silly movie to watch. My wife and I loved it. The Muse has a couple of messages that are pretty straight-forward. First of all, Hollywood is a big joke. I honestly cannot believe how anyone can base their career in Hollywood. The only place worse is Washington DC. Also, It does not matter what you use to inspire you to do great things. However, the point is, YOU CAN DO GREAT THINGS! Everyone can. Everyone has a different way of bringing it to fruition, but we all have it in us. We just need to bring it out.
In summary, I recommend seeing The Muse. Warning though...the ending is a bit cheesy. It's cute, but cheesy. It's also full of cameos by TONS of Hollywood favorites, including Jennifer Tilly, James Cameron, Martin Scorcese, Rob Reiner, Steven Wright and many more. When you are feeling like something fluffy, go rent it.