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STUDIO: New Line Home Video
RUNNING TIME: 85 min.
SPECIAL FEATURES: None
"It’s Kurt Cobain’s shotgun meets Mrs. Doubtfire!"
Tyler Christopher (General Hospital), Elena Lyons (Club Dread)
Washed-up rock band Fuzz Bucket have just been dropped by their record label and wind up playing open mic nights at dive bars. Desperate to drum up some sales for their record, and get back in their label’s good graces, the band hatches a harebrained scheme to fake the death of lead singer Dan (Christopher.) Death turns out pretty well for the guy, as he adopts a female persona of "Danielle" and manages to land himself a recording contract. But when a sexy journalist (is there any other sort?) catches Dan’s eye, he ends up having to choose between his success (and new-found fetish) and true love.
He’s got it all wrong. Mirror-kissing has got to be spontaneous.
And the Lord spake to his shroomin’ prophet, John, thus: "Write to the church in Laodicea, and tell them that I prefer a cold heart or a warm heart, but a lukewarm heart I will vomit from my mouth, because that’s like room-temperature oatmeal. That stuff is awful." So goes the condemnation for any number of pieces of weak cinema. They’re not obnoxiously awful, but at the same time they’re not very good, which somehow makes them even more distasteful.
Face The Music is an identity crisis of a film, which is somewhat appropriate given the tired gimmick of gender-switching which propels the second act. It starts off as a blatant morality play, setting up corporate music labels as the root of all evil and asking you to hope the protagonists decide to opt for artistic integrity. Shortly after the band’s lead singer fakes his death, and begins dressing up as a woman so he can go outdoors, the plot switches rails on a straight course for Romantic Comedy Land.
Some — in fact most — movies can handle multiple threads of plot like this, but Face The Music can not. Itt’s like watching a movie written by two people who accidentally collided in the street and got some of their pages exchanged. When it’s a romantic comedy, it forgets about the moral lesson. When it’s concerned with morality, the romance vanishes.
"When you make a vow, kid, you gotta take it seriously.
‘In sickness and health,’ you said. Baby, ain’t no sicker than me."
Roughly one half of the actors perform at soap opera level, Christopher appropriately included. What I mean by that is they are emotional overcompensators: either veering wildly from mood to mood, or stuck in a blank monotone. Elena Lyons is sexy in her role as hip music journalist, but playing off Christopher seems to be for her like acting against a damp cloth.
At either extreme of the quality spectrum, you’re sure to find entertainment; it’s those films that fall dead center, where you’ve gotta kinda go cross-eyed to see them, that offer nothing more than a diversion. Face The Music ends up being a little like 85 minutes of indistinct white noise.
Nothing special, though the sound is mixed well for the music sequences. Otherwise, you can see the ribs through this thing’s skin.
5 out of 10