Glitter is a 2001 American romantic musical drama film produced by 20th Century Fox and Columbia Pictures, starring American R&B singer-songwriter Mariah Carey.
The film was released on September 21, 2001, ten days after the release of the accompanying soundtrack on September 11, 2001 (yes, there is a famous ground-level image of the Twin Towers in flames with a billboard advertising the movie in the foreground). As it turned out, releasing a horrifically self-indulgent film in the wake of a gut-wrenching national tragedy was not the best idea, and Glitter was a major commercial failure and critical flop. Reviewers were highly disappointed with the film, and Carey's performance as an actress was considered by many to be amateur. This also caused the film to receive negative commentary on forums. Some went on to call it one of the worst films to be released.
Lillian Frank is a performer at a nightclub. Lillian tries to rouse the crowd with her torch song, "Lillie's Blues", with her daughter Billie Frank accompanying her on vocals. The plot fails and Lillian is fired. Lilian feels defeated and lights a cigarette, accidentally falls asleep with it and starts a fire, causing the building to be evacuated. Due to her mother's actions, Billie is fostered.
Years later, in 1983, the adult Billie is a club dancer along with her foster-care friends Louise and Roxanne. They meet Timothy Walker, who offers a contract as backup singers and dancers to the singer Sylk and the three are contracted. Later at a nightclub hosted by Julian "Dice" Black, Sylk debuts "All My Life". Dice discovers that Billie is the real singer of the song, as a means to cover up Sylk's absymal singing ability. Impressed, he wishes to produce her but Billie raises concerns about her contract with Timothy and he eventually agrees on the provision that Dice pays him $100,000.
Billie and Dice start working on songs. Ultimately they sign with Guy Richardson of a major record label. With success in their hands, he asks her up to his apartment and they sleep together. Billie's first major single, "Loverboy" is a success. Billie is called to perform at an awards, where she meets singer Rafael. Billie gets a threat from Timothy concerning the debt that Dice failed to pay. Billie, upset about how Dice lied about her contract and his arrest, argues with and leaves him. Following the break-up, Billie collaborates with several songwriters, including Rafael, with whom she makes another hit single, "Want You", and her debut album becomes a massive success.
Billie begins writing a song on her own, due to her emotional pain. Dice also misses Billie, and also begins writing a song. Billie goes to Dice's apartment to reconcile with him but discovers he is not home. Billie discovers that the music he has written, and realizes they wrote the same song: "Never Too Far". Dice, upon seeing her lipstick prints on his music sheet, plans a reconciliation, but is shot dead by Timothy. Before playing at Madison Square Garden, Billie sees the news report of Dice's death, and onstage after, commands the band to stop playing "Loverboy." She tells the audience, "Everybody out there, don't ever take anybody... for granted.", and she then starts to sing "Never Too Far". Afterwords, Billie reads a note Dice had left her, where he tells her that he has found Billie's mother. Billie's limo takes her to the secluded rural property where she is reunited with her mother once again.
Why It Sucks
- Cheesy and melodramatic plot.
- Very poor acting, especially from Mariah Carey, which led her to winning a Worst Actress Razzie. Carey actually can be a decent actress, as shown by her role in Precious, making it weird that she does such a poor job of effectively playing herself.
- Laughable and ridiculous dialogue.
- Mediocre at best music.
- Cheap special effects, For example: in one scene, Dice and Billie decide to dance at the night club they are hanging at, everyone around them suddenly starts to move in slow motion or blurry their movements.
- Irritatingly, the film is so full of annoying clichés, in one scene when Billie finds out that Dice has been killed by Timothy, they literally had written the same song "Never Too Far" to show how much they miss each other.
- Despite being set in the 80's, it barely cares to make something out of the period (for example, the music is still late 90s diva pop, and people talking on their cellphones are easily spotted).
- Despite Dice frequently showing himself to be a self-centered and emotionally abusive boyfriend to Billie, the film's conclusion tries to paint Billie as being in the wrong for "taking Dice for granted".
- Even Mariah Carey herself admitted that she absolutley hated the film and admitted it in an interview with Watch What Happens: Live in 2009 and that she doesn't want the film to be mentioned in her presence. She even poked fun of the movie. Here's proof.
The Only Redeeming Quality
- Decent soundtrack.
Glitter was released in the United States on September 21, 2001. On its opening day, the film grossed an estimated $786,436 in 1,202 theaters. On the first weekend of its release, Glitter was the eleventh highest-grossing film, grossing an estimate of $2,414,596. By the second week, the film dropped 61.1% on tickets sales, ranking at number 15 on the Box Office. It was originally scheduled to open over Labor Day weekend, but the film was pushed back three weeks when Carey was admitted to a hospital for what she stated was extreme exhaustion. Glitter was a commercial failure, grossing a total $4,274,407 in the United States. Worldwide, the film grossed a total of $5,271,666 until its close day, on October 18, 2001.
Glitter has a rating of 7% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 87 reviews with an average score of 2.8/10. The consensus states "Glitter is a hodgepodge of movie cliches and bad acting that's sure to generate unintentional laughs. Unfortunately, the movie is not bad enough to be good." The film also has a score of 14 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 23 reviews indicating 'overwhelming dislike' Criticism focused on Carey's acting, melodramatic plot, multiple clichés and various anachronisms.
Carey stated in a 2010 interview that the reasons why Glitter became a box office bomb, got panned by critics and viewers and her winning a Razzie for Worst Actress (although did not accepted the award) was because the film's soundtrack being released on September 11, 2001, the same day as the terrorist attacks on The World Trade Center and The Pentagon.
Awards & Nominations
The film was nominated for seven Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Picture, but lost to Freddy Got Fingered. It was also nominated for Worst Musical of our First 25 Years, but lost to From Justin to Kelly. It only won one award for Mariah Carey for Worst Actress.