review for Sugar Town on AllMovie

Sugar Town (1999)
by Dan Friedman review

The work of Allison Anders is characteristically thought-provoking and insightful and in Sugar Town she and co-director and co-writer Kurt Voss take aim at the Los Angeles music scene with mixed results. The film follows several interconnecting story lines that never really go anywhere except as short vignettes, and, particularly surprising from Anders, are rather bland. Ally Sheedy is very effective as a high-powered woman who can't seem to find the love she's looking for, particularly when her career-obsessed housekeeper Gwen, played by Jade Gordon, steals her music producer boyfriend as a means of getting a record deal. There are plenty of other unredeemable characters as one might expect from the subject matter, but Rosanna Arquette is quite likeable as a former movie star married to a rock star who must deal with the issue of her husband's fathering of a child out of wedlock. One of the more interesting aspects of the film is the use of actual rock stars as the former glam rock band trying to recapture their glory, including John Taylor of Duran Duran, Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet, and Michael Des Barres of the Power Station. Beverly D'Angelo has a brief role as a wealthy widow who might finance the big comeback. It's a very campy part, and, given the dearth of quality acting from others in the cast, perhaps deserved more attention. Overall, Sugar Town has its moments, but it never truly gels like it was intended to.