A charming comedy from co-writer/director and star Albert Brooks, this high-concept fantasy isn't as sharp as his more acerbic works (although some nice jabs are taken at the movie business). This is the stuff of later career Brooks and so lacks the almost-too-painful-to-watch quality of his more surgically precise early works. Fluffier and more situation comedy in conception it may be, but it's just as funny and quarries much of its humor, as do all of Brooks' films, from the psychological bugaboos of its protagonists. Sharon Stone is perfectly cast as the deranged Greek goddess of the title, Brooks and his co-writer Monica Johnson leaving little doubt that what they're actually sending up is the spoiled pampering of Hollywood divas. Brooks is his familiar self, long-suffering and neurotic, if not quite as lacerating and slightly more self-assured than his usual characters. Still, there are some classic moments here, including a meeting with Steven Spielberg's cousin, a nightmarish gathering with Wolfgang Puck at Spago, and a late-night salad delivery gone awry. The Muse (1999) may lack the bite of its creator's best work, but even a middling comedy from Brooks is a treat to be savored.
by Karl Williams review