Glitter & Doom movie poster

Glitter & Doom

In theaters March 8, 2024

Rated

,

115 minutes

Directed by:

Starring: , , , ,

The jukebox musical – that is a film or stage musical featuring popular songs – goes as far back as the 1700’s, but it’s only been in the last decade or two that it’s really taken off. Look at Broadway today and nearly 50% of what’s being produced are so called jukebox musicals. & Juliet features music from the 90’s and early aughts. MJ spotlights hits from the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Even Alicia Keys has gotten into the game with the recent opening of Hell’s Kitchen. Why? Because investors figure they can get a head start towards profitability and break out of the pack by selling tickets to fans of a particular artist or music genre.

Despite the influx of these musicals on Broadway, the big screen has seen a much smaller number of films produced – likely because it’s a lot more expensive to produce a film, it’s difficult to escape the noise of other films in theatres and streaming, and, of course, the most obvious, the lack of success at the box office. Save for Moulin Rouge and Mamma Mia, live action jukebox musicals have been met with resistance from audiences nationwide. Which begs of the question of why a small studio would invest in Glitter & Doom, a queer musical set to the music of the Indigo Girls. Putting aside the lack of success of jukebox musicals, producing a movie that will sadly be met with resistance from a large part of the country, places this small budget film fighting the odds.

Glitter (Alex Diaz) is a mediocre circus performer who dreams of running off with the circus one day. Doom (Alan Cammish) is an aspiring singer. After meeting at a bar one night the two “fall in love at first sight” (at least according to the studio’s film overview). But that magic doesn’t make it to the big screen. While talented in their own right, Diaz and Cammish lack any instant chemistry and well, any chemistry at all. Sparks don’t fly off the screen nor does glitter fall from the sky. Glitter, prior to bumping into Doom, appears equally happy to hit on any guy that moves. Doom, meanwhile, like his name would suggest, is less enthusiastic at the thought of love. A man facing many personal family demons, love is the last thing on his mind.

Needless to say, the two fall in love, but are met with obstacles every step of the way – first as they count the days until Glitter leaves for clown school (you can’t make this stuff up) and then as they count down the days until he returns. And, well, that is the plot.

Much of the cast is unknown, but Ming Na-Wen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) and journeywoman, Missi Pyle, play Glitter and Doom’s mothers, respectively. Comedian Tig Notaro and the Indigo Girls themselves, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, also appear in brief roles but sadly, neither lead nor the supporting cast bring anything memorable to the sagging story.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. There is much to like about Glitter & Doom. The cinematography is stunning when set against the sunlight. Director Tom Gustafson’s choice to have Doom’s lyrics sweep across the screen as he attempts to write a hit song brings the writing process to life. And mashups of songs like “Mystery” and “Fly Away” solve one of the biggest challenges of jukebox musicals by featuring selections of Indigo Girls songs rather than the full songs, allowing for the music to better fit within the story. Heck, part of me thinks that the film is the right amount of hokiness to become a queer cult classic.

If only the writers had spent as much time on the plot as they did reinterpreting the music they may have had the makings of an under-the-radar hit film.

Glitter & Doom is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Mark Eaton
Mark is an entertainment junkie, spending much of his leisure time watching movies, TV, or listening to any and all genres of music. Most evenings, after finishing a day of work and hanging with his wife and kids, Mark can be found in an eternal battle with his DVR, trying to clear it before another 5-6 hours of shows are recorded the next day. Still reeling from his unpaid gig for the Detroit News where he was fired for being too cruel with his American Idol recaps, Mark is thrilled to be sharing his wicked sense of humor with Movie Reelists.

Comments

  1. I agree 100%. It’s as if they were so excited about the actual idea of an Indigo Girls musical they forgot to write a half decent script. The musical bits were lovely and the songs were brilliantly arranged. But after the music stopped it was basically the leads walking around half naked or in speedos (as well as washing a car….really?) with bland thoughtless dialogue interspersed with Indigo Girls lyrics.

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