Sugar Town (1999)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Ten years after Allison Anders and Kurt Voss collaborated on Border Radio, a gritty and evocative look at life along the margins of the L.A. punk rock scene, the two have reunited for another look at the California music biz, this time aiming their sights considerably higher up the ladder. Sugar Town follows the interconnected lives of a handful of power brokers, wanna-bes and has-beens. Gwen (Jade Gordon), a self-centered would-be rock star who will do anything to further her career, is working as an assistant to production designer Liz (Ally Sheedy), but when Gwen discovers Liz has a date with famous producer Burt (Larry Klein), any loyalty she has to her boss immediately goes out the window. Burt's latest project is a comeback attempt from three aging Brit-rockers, Nick (Michael Des Barres), Clive (John Taylor), and Jonesy (Martin Kemp). Clive is married to Eva (Rosanna Arquette), an actress and one-time sex symbol depressed over her latest job offer -- playing Christina Ricci's mom. Nick has a dilemma of his own -- the band is strapped for cash, and Jane (Beverly D'Angelo), a potential investor, will write them a check only in exchange for sex with Nick... who unfortunately is only attracted to teenage girls. On the other side of town, Carl (John Doe) is a session musician with a pregnant wife (Lucinda Jenney), a flock of kids to support and bills to pay. When he's offered a spot in the touring band of a popular Latina singer, Rosio (Lumi Cavazos), Carl is torn -- his wife wants him to take the job, but Carl knows Rosio wants him for sex as much as music. Sugar Town, which premiered at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival, is authentically cast with many real-life rock musicians, including Doe (a member of L.A. punk legends X, and co-star of Border Radio), Taylor (from Duran Duran), Kemp (ex-Spandau Ballet), Des Barres (who has sung with Silverhead, Chequered Past and The Power Station) and Klein (a bassist and producer who's worked with Peter Gabriel and Joni Mitchell). ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Comedy , Drama , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Film Four International


John Doe
as Carl
Martin Kemp
as Jonesy
Polly Platt
as Maggie
Marion Moseley
as In Utero Baby
Nicholas Walker
as Masseuse
Catherine Munro
as Groupie No. 1
Kristina Hayes
as Groupie No. 2
Alyse Pozzo
as Groupie No. 3
Michael E. Rodgers
as Journalist
Paige Dylan
as Nerve's Mom
Simon Bonney
as Band Member No. 1
Kelly Jones
as Band Member No. 2
Kai Lennox
as Alex
Kadu Lennox
as Monte
Bijou Phillips
as Autograph Girl
Lacey Rodine
as Groupie No. 4
Phillip Tan
as Karate Instructor
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Sugar Town

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (6)

The filmmakers had their finger on the pulse of their characters, it's only too bad they couldn't have made the unwieldy narrative tighter.

Full Review… | April 20, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A bittersweet comedy about some middle-aged over-the-hill rockers.

Full Review… | March 3, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

strums a strong steady beat that might get you swaying, but lacks enough bass action to prompt a boogie.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Hollywood Report Card

Breaks new ground in the way it so sympathetically looks at its loony leading characters.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Film Journal International

A fun, if lightweight, romp.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999

Quote not available.

Full Review… | December 6, 2005
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for Sugar Town

The filmmakers had their finger on the pulse of their characters, it's only too bad they couldn't have made the unwieldy narrative tighter.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

An interesting movie.

Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer

first i was loving this cast, a nostalgic grouping of old 80?s icons. what i disliked was the unfinished ending. nothing was ?wrapped up? leaving me to feel a bit empty.

laurie e
laurie e

Sugar Town Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Sugar Town on our Movie forum!

News & Features