Sunset Strip

2000, Movie, R, 89 mins

Review

SUNSET STRIP
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A slight ensemble picture in which the lives of would-be L.A. rockers and hangers-on intersect over a 24-hour period in 1972, in and around Sunset Strip's notorious Whiskey-a-Go-Go. At the center of the movie's whirlpool of sex, drugs and, yes, rock and roll, are photographer Michael Scott (Simon Baker) and funky clothing designer/stylist Tammy Franklin (Anna Friel). Tammy specializes in dressing rock stars, though she does a pretty good line in undressing them as well. In a busy half hour at her too-hip shop Tammy juggles sequential quickies with country rocker Glen Walker (Jared Leto) and velvet-voiced Scot Duncan Reed (Tommy J. Flanagan), barely managing to keep them in separate dressing rooms. Michael, meanwhile, pines silently for Tammy; she treats him like a pal and drives him into the arms of cocktail waitresses. Michael's roommate, Felix (Rory Cochran), is a drunken but hugely talented songwriter who keeps bumping into music promoter Marty Shapiro (Adam Goldberg), a dorky hustler from the Valley who struts around in dashikis and a giant afro to show that he's down with the ghetto. Meanwhile, struggling guitarist Zach (Nick Stahl) and his band are opening at the Whiskey for Duncan Reed and the Curb; if Zach can attract some industry attention, he may be able to afford the extra 25 cents for whipped cream on his jello. Zach has a crush on his neighbor Christine (Stephanie Romanov), whose fading and intensely paranoid rock star boyfriend is cheating on her with Tammy. Over the course of a long, drug- and alcohol-fueled day and night, they all cross paths, pursue their dreams and pair off in various configurations. The trouble is that despite the talented cast's best efforts, none of it really amounts to anything, even as a nostalgic snapshot of a time and place. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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