Duets

Three odd couples are headed for a $5,000 Grand Prize Karaoke Contest in Omaha, Nebraska: an estranged father and daughter (Lewis and Paltrow); milksop cabbie and ballsy waitress (Speedman and Bello); disillusioned businessman and ex-con (Giamatti and Braugher). The film aims for the fragmented, kooky sharpness of Short Cuts but quickly dissolves into offensive mush. As for the cast, they're overstretched. Lewis looks uncomfortable in the acting scenes, while Braugher is made to appear foolish by a singing voice that's clearly been enhanced. Giamatti also deserves better: a delightful cross between Nicolas Cage and Mr Magoo, he jitters for America but can't make sense of his character's ludicrous mood swings. Only Gwyneth is left looking smug. The headgirl of ick, she makes an implausible showgirl. But she can carry a tune and, if this were karaoke night, she'd cart off any medals going.

Release details

Duration: 114 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Bruce Paltrow
Screenwriter: John Byrum
Cast: Maria Bello
André Braugher
Paul Giamatti
Huey Lewis
Gwyneth Paltrow
Scott Speedman
Marian Seldes
Kiersten Warren
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