Actually, the subject of the film is not so much sex or music as it is being over-the-hill at 40 in L.A. The narrative, which is shaped as an Altman-esque round-robin, concerns some once-famous rock stars trying to make a comeback, the women they're involved with, the women friends of the women they're involved with, and the women who try to cut the throats of the women the rock stars are involved with or the throats of the friends of etc., etc.
Given Anders's reputation as a feminist filmmaker, it's disturbing that she's so much gentler with her male than her female characters. The men in Sugar Town are kind of hapless, but they try. At worst, they seem like they don't know what hit them. At best, they're John Doe, who leaves the first lucrative gig he's had in years because the Latina star is putting the moves on him and he refuses to be unfaithful to his wife.
Written and directed by Allison Anders and Kurt Voss
An October Films release
Opens September 17
The women of Sugar Town fall into three categories: airheads played by Rosanna Arquette and Ally Sheedy; dragon ladies played by Jade Gordon (a low-rent version of Nicole Kidman in To Die For), Lumi Cavazos, and Beverly D'Angelo; and mothers, or rather one very pregnant mother (played by Lucinda Jenney). The film's message to women is that motherhood is sacred and if you haven't experienced it you are to be pitied. I had a moment of doubting my extreme negative reaction to the sexual politics of this film. Then I read the following note by Anders in the press kit: "We made fun of everything that was once precious to me with the exception of childbirth and children." Everyone to her own perversity, but I'll take Breillat's anytime.
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