Combustible Celluloid
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With: Albert Brooks, Sharon Stone, Andie MacDowell, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Monica Mikala, Jamie Alexis, Lorenzo Lamas, Jennifer Tilly, Bradley Whitford, Steven Wright, Rob Reiner, Wolfgang Puck, James Cameron, Martin Scorsese
Written by: Albert Brooks, Monica Mcgowan Johnson
Directed by: Albert Brooks
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief nudity
Running Time: 97
Date: 08/27/1999

The Muse (1999)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Doing the Write Thing

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Albert Brooks' films are always funny and contain interesting situations -- as with Defending Your Life (1991) -- but they often seem crammed together rather than neatly or cleverly constructed. His films always have good ideas, a few good scenes, strong female characters, and lots of great dialogue. But the overall weak structure of his films, especially apparent in his third acts, is often unsatisfying. And, while Brooks is a very good character actor (Broadcast News, Out of Sight), he can be obnoxious in a lead role. Despite all of this, Brooks' new movie The Muse is funny and warm enough to make it worth a trip. Brooks plays a screenwriter who has "lost his edge" and enlists help from Sharon Stone, who steals the film as a muse who inspires Hollywood writers. The cast also includes Andie MacDowell, Jeff Bridges, and several fun celebrity cameos.

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