The Muse

1999

The Muse (1999)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Despite quirky and original writing, the subject matter feels too removed to produce laughs.

AUDIENCE SCORE


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Movie Info

Actor/writer/director Albert Brooks turns his satiric gaze on the film industry in this comedy about a screenwriter who has hit a rough patch. Steven Philips (played by Brooks) has enjoyed a celebrated career in Hollywood, but one day he has a meeting with his agent, who informs him his career is suddenly going nowhere. Steven quickly finds himself at the end of his rope and is unable to put a decent sentence on paper. Desperate, he hears that there's a bona fide muse in Hollywood, Sarah (played by Sharon Stone), who might be able to help with his problems. The writer contacts Sarah, hoping a good, stong dose of inspiration will get his career back on track. However, Sarah's late hours and endless demands don't do much to help Steven's relationship with his wife (Andie MacDowell). The Muse features an original musical score by Elton John, and cameos by several notable film figures, including Martin Scorsese, Rob Reiner, and James Cameron.

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Cast

Albert Brooks
as Steven Phillips
Sharon Stone
as Sarah Liddle
Andie MacDowell
as Laura Phillips
Jeff Bridges
as Jack Warrick
Mark Feuerstein
as Josh Martin
Steven Wright
as Stan Spielberg
Mario Opinato
as European Man
Dakin Matthews
as Dr. Jacobson
Concetta Tomei
as Nurse Rennert
Monica Mikala
as Julie Phillips
Jamie Alexis
as Mary Phillips
Skip O'Brien
as Universal Studio Guard
Aude Charles
as Spielberg Secretary
Ange Billman
as Spielberg Secretary No. 2
Gannon Daniels
as Spielberg Secretary No. 3
Jennie Ventriss
as Older Secretary
Bobby Ender
as Boy at Sarah's House
Stacy Travis
as Phyllis
Michele Crosby Jones
as Tiffany Saleswoman
Paul C. Jensen
as Four Seasons Porter
Steve Valentine
as Four Seasons Asst. Manager
Greg Grunberg
as Four Seasons Hotel Security
Rob Reiner
as Himself
Alexandra Kaplan
as Rob Reiner's Daughter
Steven Anthony Lawrence
as Rob Reiner's Son
Jill Tobin
as Female Attendant
A.J. Orta
as Boy in Cookie Store
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Critic Reviews for The Muse

All Critics (78) | Top Critics (25)

"The Muse'' is an intelligent, undemanding comedy.

Jun 12, 2018 | Full Review…

Quietly, consistently amusing.

Jan 1, 2000

There are bits in this movie that are so bright, so amusing and so truly, madly, deeply tied to a life most of us will never know, that you can't help watching the film with fascination.

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4

The Muse is as consistently funny as it is smartly tooled.

Jan 1, 2000

The list of great moments is virtually endless!

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

It's imaginative enough to provide a reliable, pleasurable stream of chuckles and midsized laughs.

Jan 1, 2000

Audience Reviews for The Muse

½

Original neurotic comedy, Albert Brooks' The Muse it's not very funny, dispite being entretaining.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Albert Brooks tale of a Hollywood writer facing the end of his career is unintentionally ironic and kinda sad to watch. The help of major Tinseltown players do little to support a work wherein Brooks himself only comes across as bitter and alienating. Sharon Stone as the titular character: blech. Only Andie MacDowell escapes unscathed. Pass.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

I normally like Albert Brooks's films. Obviously Broadcast News and Defending Your Life are fantastic, and in those films, his neurotic, Woody Allen demeanor is charming, clever, and funny. But here he's just annoying and occasionally he's almost creepily over-bearing. As a film, The Muse has a lot of wasted time spent on people driving in the "beautiful" plasticity of L.A. and banal dialogue like "You should call him." [Dramatic pause.] "I'll call him." A film exploring the writing process might have been more interesting, but like his character, I fear Brooks has lost his edge.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

It's gentle, warm and funny rather than being a hilarious attack on Hollywood. Yes it captures the natures of Hollywood fads and the shallow nature of the industry, but never in a convincing way. This isn't ALtman's The Player. Some celebrity cameos are quite funny with Cameron and Scorsese parodying themselves, but they do feel rather thrown in at the last minute. Not enough of Bridges, who can own any film, and Brooks just comes off as whiny and stupid. Perhaps it could have been better if the screenplay to Brooks' movie within a movie sounded any good, but all Stone can inspire is a tepid Hollywood idea like so many others.

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

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