American Idol


Over a decade into American Idol, and it’s easy to forget that the one-time runaway success and pop culture phenomenon has not only turned out twelve winners (can you name more than two? No, no, more than the big two?) over a mind-boggling 475 episodes, but also one roundly dismissed feature film. The idea behind From Justin to Kelly is almost charming – until you remember that stars Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini were contractually obligated to do it and also that the final product is just awful. Why not make a feature film starring two nice kids who have just become America’s sweethearts? Why not throw a bone to Justin Guarini, who just lost out on his dream in front of the entire country? Why not resurrect some good old-fashioned beach blanket hanky? Why indeed. From Justin to Kelly hit theaters ten years ago today, just nine months after Clarkson won the first season of American Idol, rocketing to superstardom in a way that’s actually worthy of that cliché-laden statement. The plot of From Justin to Kelly is, of course, very simple (and cribbed from Where the Boys Are). Kelly Clarkson plays, well, she plays someone named Kelly, and Justin Guarini plays someone named Justin, presumably for ease of audience understanding and probably to make this thing called “acting” a bit easier. The pair meet on spring break in Florida, complications ensue on their wacky road to love, Harmony Korine never bothers to show up, stuff like that. It’s […]



Karen Cartwright imagines herself in a shimmering white dress, center stage, belting out that ultimate dreamer’s song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” She stretches her hands above her head, ever so dramatically, because she’s really into this performance – she isn’t just singing these words, she’s feeling them. She closes her eyes. Oh, yeah. She’s all up inside this song and we immediately understand the subtext here: these lyrics have been etched into her heart since she was a small girl, head already full of big city hopes and dreams about makin’ it. A cell phone rings, jolting Karen back to reality. She’s in a small room – far from the spotlight- auditioning for some jaded folks who somehow can’t see that she’s from Iowa and that she has aspirations! How wide-eyed does a girl have to be before someone gives her a leading role in a Broadway musical, yo? American Idol is all about regular people with unexpected talent, yearning for stardom. (Well, it used to be. Now, according to the most recent promos, it’s all about kids falling off of stages.) Katherine McPhee is an American Idol runner-up, so I guess she’s suited for this Karen part on Smash, NBC’s much-hyped drama about the creation of a musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. McPhee’s Karen has a fresh-faced charm about her, the kind of girl you’d maybe instinctively root for, and the character’s Midwestern origins are, I believe, supposed to make her that much more appealing. The […]



Nice work America, you really did it this time. This was the season that everybody was finally supposed to stop watching American Idol. This was the season they were coming back without all of their signature judges, surely a death knell for any long running television show. But instead of abandoning a sinking ship, you people kept watching the show in bigger numbers than ever, and now there’s renewed interest in the career of replacement judge Jennifer Lopez. I’m not saying that I have anything against Jennifer Lopez. She’s probably a nice enough rich person, and I respect the size and shape of her butt, but I was pretty content living in a world where she didn’t star in lame romantic comedies anymore, and those days appear to soon be over. Reports are that Lopez is in negotiations to appear in two films. The first is the Jason Statham starring action film Parker, which has been previously reported as being directed by Taylor Hackford and adapted from the written works of Richard Stark. Parker is a literary character who has been brought to the big screen before, most notably as played by Mel Gibson in Payback and Lee Marvin in Point Blank. If Lopez signed on to the film she would be playing the girl. I can’t imagine there’s much more to it than that.



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published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.24.2015
published: 01.24.2015
published: 01.24.2015

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