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One-Trick Pony Reviews

Pop singer-songwriter Paul Simon penned the screenplay and score in addition to starring in this film. The story concerns Simon, a singer on a downward slide in his popularity and personal life. A chart-topper 10 years ago, Simon is now reduced to opening for punk bands in New York clubs. He is estranged from his wife, Blair Brown, who still loves him but can't handle his philandering and irresponsibility. Simon's record company wants a hit single out of the singer, so his producer (real-life rock legend Lou Reed) throws in a bag of artistically dubious studio tricks to get the floundering singer back into the Top 40. Cameos are provided by the Lovin' Spoonful, Tiny Tim, Sam and Dave, and the B-52s (seen playing a grisly parlor game requiring them to come up with names of dead rock stars). The film works because the story never goes into melodrama, thanks to Simon's performance and to director Robert M. Young (formerly a documentary filmmaker), who underplays most scenes and avoids backstage cliches.