Monday, March 26, 2012

The Muse (1999)


A story about a screen writer that gets forced out of the business due to the notion he has lost his edge.  He meets an unusual woman who is told by his friend can turn your career around.  Steven being at his wits end agrees to see her as he feels he has more to give in his scripts.  His world gets flip flopped all over as this woman eventually turns out to be more than he bargained for.  It’s full of humor especially from Albert Brooks in every scene he’s in it seems.  The story gets twisty but remains intact to the end. 

                It’s really interesting for me at this point in my life to be watching a movie about a screen writer who is struggling to come up with a script that will be taken.  I relate to it, in that, I’ve been writing for a few months now and at times I wonder what exactly to write down for what movie I’m reviewing.  Frustration sets in at times but I remember to just express what I feel first and work from there.
 
                Steven Phillips (Albert Brooks) is down on his luck and turns to a close friend of his Jack Warrick (Jeff Bridges) to get some advice.  He gets introduced to Sarah (Sharon Stone) who seems to be a mysterious person or muse that can get his act together and back on track.  I began to get the feeling this plot was similar to a couple other movies I’ve seen before like, Sweet November and Anger Management.  A man who is troubled in one fashion or another mentally and here comes an eccentric person to do things in an extremely odd manner to fix everything up.  It appears Sarah would be that fixer as Steven is the broken man.  It’s a different approach as the story moves along though as Steven isn’t quite disturbed or bothered other than a writer’s block of some kind. 

                Sarah does help Steven’s wife Laura (Andie MacDowell) open up and become a baker for a successfully nearby restaurant.  The portrayal of a muse being real gets conveyed to be very possible as her connections with various people seem to bring great fortune to those around her.  Eventually Sarah drops a hint to Steven on how to finish this script he’s stuck on.  He brings it into the studio and gets dismissed just as he did at the beginning of the film.  Things spiral out of control for Steven just when he thought it was turning around for him.  He soon discovers from a pair of doctors that pay him a visit to his home that Sarah is a mental patient.  His wife and he get convinced of it as the doctors are tracking down Sarah.  The story gets a bit confusing and doesn’t hold together as it did throughout at this point. 

                Steven gets a call that his script will now be accepted and when he goes back to the studio Sarah is under a new alias as the person approving his script.  She has a wig and appears to be not a muse per say but indeed a mental patient on the verge of another identity crisis.  The movie swiftly ends without verifying whether she’s actually a muse or really just mentally unstable.

                I for one don’t know for sure but it’s a movie in which it doesn’t really bother me that I don’t.  The main interest points for me in the movie were whenever Albert Brooks was in any conversation.  He was always calm and delivered these hilarious lines on a whim every time.  Everything else in the movie was basically second fiddle to his performance which in turn didn’t make me want to know the truth of whatever Sarah was supposed to be.  Sharon Stone does give a decent performance but it’s really nothing special.  It’s a smart comedy so try to keep up. 

                Rating: 7.5 of 10


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