Making the Grades
Billie: "Timothy was here today."
Dice: "In our house?"
Billie: "Yes in our house... he said if you don't pay him his money he's gonna hurt me."
Dice: "He's gonna hurt you?"
Dice: "That's what he said? In our home?"
Billie: "Yes, that's what he said."
Although this circular dialog sounds like Abbot and Costello rhetoric, it is in fact part of the script from Glitter, Mariah Carey's semi-autobiographical film, which suffered several release date delays due to the star's real-life emotional traumas.
Carey plays Billie Frank, a pop singer whose childhood is spent in smoky lounges listening to her alcoholic mother sing the blues until the fateful night mom falls asleep with a cigarette and burns down their tattered home. We pick up on her life story in the early 1980's when disco has reached its peak. Billie, along with two long-time friends, gets her first break into the music business when Timothy (Terrence Howard), a low-life manager, hires the trio to sing backup for his girlfriend--who can't hit a note with a hammer.
Performing one evening in a nightclub, Billie's talent is discovered by super deejay "Dice" Black (Max Beesley). After convincing the singer that he can direct her career, Dice agrees to pay Timothy 100 grand for rights to the three girls. Dice's brazen personality soon lands Billie a contract with a major label, a hit song, and a live-in arrangement in his apartment. But with her growing fame, the disc spinner's stagnant career as a musician/songwriter seems even more insignificant. The resulting pressure on their romance and Dice's edgy relationship with Timothy makes for many sour notes.
Other discordant portrayals include Carey's character jumping into bed on a first date, a fistfight, a shooting, a few profanities and a sexual expletive. Exhibiting poor writing and a story like a song you've heard a thousand times before, the only audience likely to be attracted to this movie are fans who like Carey's breathy singing, and guys who like her breasty wardrobe. For all the glitter her voice may offer, this film has no gold.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Glitter.
Billie chooses to engage in both a working and sexual relationship with Dice. Was this good business sense? Did this decision contribute to her heartbreak?
When making a music video, Billie is told “sex sells.” Do you agree with that statement? Do movies like Glitter reinforce that belief?