It starts promisingly. Just as he is leaving New York for Los Angeles, aspiring musician Luke (Steven Strait) sees a beautiful girl on the subway. As her train is about to pull away, she tells him he has dropped his glove. Instead of taking it, he tosses her the other one, so she will have the pair.
A couple of years later, the girl (Pell James as Briar) is a successful model. She decides to move to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. She has some good repartee with her agent/surrogate mother (Carrie Fisher). But once she goes west, the script begins to sound like it was written by little girls playing Barbies.
Briar makes a friend named Clea (Ashlee Simpson) in acting class and it turns out that Clea’s buddy is none other than glove boy Luke, now performing with his friends in a little bar. So, she and Clea cook up an idea to give Luke some buzz by having his picture taken with a Brazilian model/party girl (Shannyn Sossamon) and planting items in blogs and chat rooms. You see, if we put words like “blogs” and “chatrooms” into the movie, it will seem all hip and happening, right? Nope. That strategy is even lamer than the idea of getting Luke a recording contract by getting an actor to pretend to be from another label. Where do they get this stuff, “Brady Bunch” reruns?
Even more artificial than that is finding some obstacle to drag out Briar’s realization that she and Luke are meant for each other for the duration of the movie. The leads are sincere and appealing and around the corners of the story are glimmers of something interesting — a skateboarding dog, Luke’s brother Euen (the terrific Kip Pardue), and Fisher’s character and her relationship to Briar and to a record industry legend. They linger tantalizingly just out of sight as we suffer through dialogue like, “Luke has integrity — he wants to make it on his own terms!” and “I can forgive you. I just can’t forget how you treated me.”
The storyline keeps getting more preposterous as it goes along until an absurd deus ex machina finale with that least welcome of cliches, the mad dash to the airport along with that most unforgiveable of tricks, the instant reply montage of all the gooey moments we just saw. And are you kidding me with those names! Luke Falcon and Brier Tucket? Garrett Schweck? Wick Treadway? It’s like some demented conflation of bodice-ripper novels and Bratz dolls. Strait and James show some on-screen chemistry and Ashlee Simpson seems more comfortable on screen than expected. Fisher Stevens (as an egotistical recording label executive) is weak and Sossamon is so over the top that I thought her character was two different people. Some things stay undiscovered for a reason.
Parents should know that the film has brief stong language, some sexual references and situations (including groupies), skimpy clothes, some drinking, cigarettes in an ashtry, and a reference to drug use. There is a brief scuffle and there are some emotional confrontations. A strength of the movie is that the main characters do not drink, smoke, or use drugs and take physical involvement very seriously.
Families who see this movie should talk about the comment that “You look for fame, you lose your soul; you look for passion, you find it.” Why was it hard for Briar to admit to her feelings for Luke?
Families who enjoy this film will also enjoy Singles (some mature material).