Duets (2000)
August 28, 2023 8:13 AM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] A collection of disparate but equally damaged characters is traveling to Omaha, Neb. to perform in a karaoke competition with a grand prize of $5,000. They include con artist Ricky Dean (Huey Lewis), who finds his long-lost daughter, Liv (Gwyneth Paltrow), and brings her along for the ride, as well as a beleaguered salesman, Todd (Paul Giamatti). These and other people with more than their share of eccentricities invest their hopes and dreams in the competition.

Also starring: Scott Speedman, Maria Bello, Andre Braugher, Angie Dickinson, Michael Bublé, Maya Rudolph, John Pinette.

Directed by Bruce Paltrow. Written by John Byrum.

21% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

posted by DirtyOldTown (5 comments total)
This is a lumpy, uneven movie that has some good moments: Altmanesque interwoven story beats; fun songs; offbeat but sincere early Jonathan Demme-style character moments. But the bottom line is, Bruce Paltrow does not have the chops to hold this many disparate pieces together. Although the film regularly reaches for more, when Paltrow falters, he seems to default to a mundane dramedy feel. It's not an unpleasant movieh though, sort of the definition of a Sunday afternoon cable watch.

Worth it for Huey Lewis and Paul Giamatti, as well as Andre Braugher. A positively baby-faced and adorable Maya Rudolph has a thankless role as the Omaha emcee. And yeah, this movie briefly sorta made Gwyneth Paltrow a minor pop star. I'm told James Cameron has an uncredited cameo in this but I never noticed him.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:16 AM on August 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

I remember the trailer for this movie vividly, because the song "Cruisn'" is a ruthless earworm and the movie, to my teenaged self, looked like the kind of boring garbage that adults like. I never learned what it was actually about.

Now that i read the synopsis, and have become a boring garbage adult myself, that... actually sounds pretty good.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 12:32 PM on August 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

The Bette Davis eyes scene I play on repeat often
posted by one4themoment at 5:18 PM on August 28, 2023

I'd pay good money to know how the father-daughter characters dueting the song "Cruisin" (which is not actually about a long drive, btw) passed muster with, oh, everyone.
posted by Ink-stained wretch at 11:15 AM on August 29, 2023 [2 favorites]

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