”We ask ourselves: is she white? Is she black? We don’t know. She’s exotic. I want to see more of her breasts.” This, friends, is an actual line from Glitter, Mariah Carey’s deeply personal meditation on fame, love, and her own indomitable bosom. Other nuggets include ”The glitter can’t overpower the artist!” and ”Chico! Less scratching!” There’s also a scene where a ”fly DJ” named Dice (Max Beesley) romances ingenue Billie Frank (Carey) with a marimba.
We present these excerpts out of context because context doesn’t do them justice. Nor does the setting, which is theoretically the clubscape of ’80s New York, but looks more like contemporary Toronto when the Grotesquely Tight Pants Festival hits town. Nor does director Vondie Curtis Hall (”Gridlock’d”), who, God bless him, provides audio commentary on the DVD — listen in awe as he explains how his ”timeless” movie is an ”experiment” involving ”male implosion.”
Oh, there’s an implosion going on, all right. But simply trashing ”Glitter” misses the point. If, for example, we were to liken Carey’s acting style to a catatonic lemur, minus the nuance, that would be needlessly cruel. Drawing unfavorable comparisons between Beesley and Mark Wahlberg’s pocket lint? Mean-spirited. Suggesting the G be dropped from the movie’s title? Unfair, and too clever by half.
No, ”Glitter” deserves better. In the transition to the small screen, it’s gone from Great Bad Movie to Great Bad Movie You Can Watch While Wasted Without Having to Drive Home. So rejoice, college students: Your generation’s very own cult crapsterpiece has arrived. As is: F; As cult comedy: A; As drinking game: Priceless