Friday, August 18, 2006

The Reviews are IN!!!

And the verdict?

Fantasia can't act.

I would feel sorry for Miss Barrino...except for the fact that this review is just so f*cking funny!

Check it out:

'Fantasia' struggles to play herself in 'Fairy Tale'
By Ray Richmond (The Hollywood Reporter)

When Ann Jillian starred in her own overcoming-adversity autobiopic in 1988, it seemed to make sense. For one thing, the woman was a real actress. For another, she was 38 and had lived some real life before contracting breast cancer and undergoing a devastating double mastectomy.

Jillian's role in "The Ann Jillian Story" earned her a Golden Globe win as well as an Emmy nomination. Contrast this with Lifetime's "The Fantasia Barrino Story: Life Is Not a Fairy Tale," based on a best-selling bio and starring Barrino as Barrino. Yes, she endured a string of jerky guys, a pregnancy (following an alleged rape), single motherhood at age 17, grinding poverty and the burden of going through life with a name taken from a Disney movie before winning on "American Idol." Great stuff. But she's also 22. To say that Barrino's story is incomplete is the essence of understatement.

Oh, one other problem: Barrino can't act. She's very sweet and all, but she tends to gobble her words and expresses range by lowering her eyes, as if the answer to life lay somewhere at her feet. So while it's an interesting idea to try to tell the tale of a life in progress through the woman living that life, the capacity to convey a certain depth of emotion on cue would seem to be a minimum prerequisite. And Barrino obviously tries hard but can't pull it off, no matter how much director
Debbie Allen tries to drill it into her. The result is an assortment of awkwardly delivered cliches in search of a greater purpose that it never quite finds.

The irony of the film's title is that it really does try to give the impression that life is a fairy tale, albeit one that arrives only after eating plenty of dirt. As is standard in Lifetime movies, the men here are pretty much exclusively users and abusers who look at women as either playthings or punching bags. And Barrino finds herself on the receiving end of that passion and wrath pretty consistently, winding up with a baby daughter and an empty bank account as a result. But she auditions for "Idol" in Atlanta, and her sweet voice and intense style lead her to the musical promised land. Fame and fortune predictably follow.

Not to minimize Fantasia's triumphant struggle, but as a film story line it tends to have all the compelling drama of watching wax drip from a burning candle.

I don't know who Ray Richmond of "The Hollywood Reporter" is, but I want to...because I think he needs to be my new boyfriend.



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