Making the Grades
Gwen Harrison (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Eddie Thomas (John Cusack) are America's Sweethearts. Having co-starred as each other's love interest in several very successful romantic films, the celebrities are actually married in real life. Totally enthralled with their fairy tale existence, their fans don't understand what has happened to the expected happily-ever-after ending when Gwen suddenly finds a new leading man for her personal life, and Eddie collapses with a nervous breakdown.
Their decision isn't good business for the movie studio either. With his job hanging in the balance, publicist Lee Phillips (Billy Crystal) must convince the estranged pair to make an appearance at a press junket, which will hopefully improve the movie's box office success. At the very least their presence will distract the invited reporters, helping the studio cover its other problem: director Hal Weidmann (Christopher Walken) has refused to let anyone see the finished film until it d0xE9buts before the journalists.
With no scruples to hinder him, Lee (who has an uncanny ability to manipulate any situation into a marketing angle) sets out to stage the reconciliation of the year, but will happily settle for anything that draws public attention. He enlists the help of Gwen's assistant and sister Kiki (Julia Roberts), who secretly longs to see Eddie again, but knows her heart isn't in getting her sibling's marriage back together.
Full of profanities, derogatory racial and mental illness depictions, sexually derived jokes, a dog that licks private body parts, talk of masturbation and penis size, and portrayal of a separated married couple engaged in outside sexual relationships, this star studded 'Hollywood look at how Hollywood looks' comes across as phony and cardboard as the movie within the movie.
Perhaps in an attempt to capture some of tinseltown's realism, the film features cameo appearances from many entertainment journalists (such as Larry King). Then again, there may be some sound marketing motives for their inclusion, as one can hardly criticize a film one has been paid to appear in. Whatever the method in America's Sweethearts' madness, it may be more than just family audiences who decide to junk-it.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about America’s Sweethearts.
There is an old expression that claims: “Men don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.” When do the spectacles worn by Julia Roberts’ character disappear? Her character has also recently lost 60 pounds. How do the other people in the story treat her weight loss? What does that say about the importance of thinness?
Why have Eddie and Gwen experienced such a different reality than the one the public believes in? Where do fans get information about the personal lives of their favorite celebrities? Why is it so easy for outside observers to be fooled? Have the facts about a public figure ever come as a surprise to you? (Coincidentally enough the opening of America’s Sweethearts has come simultaneously with gossip columns’ announcements about Julia Roberts’ breakup of a four-year relationship with Benjamin Bratt.)