Rating: Rated "PG-13
"The Muse" is a mess! What should have been high comedy under the sparkling direction of Albert Brooks, is instead, a minor entry into the life of Hollywood that is so off the mark, it not only misses the target but the brick wall beyond.
It’s supposed to be up-to-date satire about being a writer in contemporary Tinsel Town and a poor guy who suffers from a lack of hit scripts. But spend some time with this hero and you will never ask why--and never laugh about it either.
At a black-tie ceremony, Brooks wins the "Humanitarian Award," and on the way home, his young daughter asks: "What’s a humanitarian?" and Brooks answers: "It's someone who's never won the Oscar." That’s the level of humor! What could have been "Saturday Night Hot" becomes "Sunday Morning Dull."
Because of continual failure the Brook’s character is advised to take some time off and to recharge his creative batteries. So he seeks the help of an old friend, a friend who tells him about this great woman who is a real muse, right from the Greek world of myth.
Turns out there is a muse in the person of Sharon Stone, who is the only really delightful character in the flick. She is marvelous: Charming, funny, and delivers her lines with both snap and polish! And there are lots of insider Hollywood jokes but the movie only hits its stride when Stone is on screen, demanding expensive hotel rooms, great food, transportation at all hours, and an important gift of jewelry at every turn. But in return she promises to deliver the goods on inspiration.
But even here Brooks lacks nerve. Instead of just accepting the muse as real, towards the end we learn she is a charming psycho who has escaped the asylum and while harmless, is as nutty as the cookies she helps Brook’s wife (played by Asheville’s Andie MacDowell) to turn into a business to support her family while Brooks recovers his wit!
I suspect the general problem was financing. Brooks probably had a great idea to lampoon Hollywood from head to foot but when scrounging the money needed for production, was told to tone it down so it would appeal to a wider audience. It does that but in so doing, completely loses both its edge and the intelligent viewer.