The Muse

The last time Hollywood brought a muse down to Earth, she was Olivia Newton-John and ran a roller-disco called XANADU. Fortunately, writer-director-star Albert Brooks's treatment is slightly more inspired, however much he squanders such a ripe premise. Successful screenwriter Steven Phillips (Brooks) has an Oscar nomination under his belt, an office on...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

Reviewed by Ken Fox
Rating:

The last time Hollywood brought a muse down to Earth, she was Olivia Newton-John and ran a roller-disco called XANADU. Fortunately, writer-director-star Albert Brooks's treatment is slightly more inspired, however much he squanders such a ripe premise. Successful

screenwriter Steven Phillips (Brooks) has an Oscar nomination under his belt, an office on the Paramount lot and a loving wife (Andie MacDowell). Suddenly, the ceiling falls in: A young studio exec (Mark Feuerstein) tells Steven he's lost that ineffable quality Hollywood calls "edge." Relieved of

his three-picture deal, Steven turns to friend and fellow scripter Jack (Jeff Bridges), who hooks him up with the secret to his own success: a flighty woman in flowing pajamas named Sarah (Sharon Stone). Sarah, it seems, is a real muse — one of the nine daughters of Zeus, responsible for all

creativity — and she's taking meetings. All Sarah asks is that Steven put her up in a $1700-a-night suite at the Four Seasons and cater to her every childish whim. Brooks's big joke: Half the town is in hock to Sarah, hence a cameo cast that reads like a Hollywood Who's Who. She

advises James Cameron to skip the Titanic sequel, while Martin Scorsese is hard at work on a remake of RAGING BULL, only with a thin angry guy. The set-up is perfect for a blistering take on the industry and L.A.'s fondness for specious New Age mysticism, but how cutting can you be

when half the town is passing in front of your camera? Like Robert Altman's PLAYER, it all feels too inside to really bite, and Brooks's satire winds up a winking, toothless sitcom. Some good lines notwithstanding, this is a real disappointment, and Stone's awkward performance only looks good next

to MacDowell's. Where are those darned muses when you really need them?

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: The last time Hollywood brought a muse down to Earth, she was Olivia Newton-John and ran a roller-disco called XANADU. Fortunately, writer-director-star Albert Brooks's treatment is slightly more inspired, however much he squanders such a ripe premise. Suc… (more)

Show More »

Trending TonightSee all »