Starring: Stockard Channing, Shaun Evans, Bob Hoskins, Amanda Ryan
Directors: Tom Hunsinger, Neil Hunter
Duration: 104 minutes
Sam Sparkes (Shaun Evans) is a 22 year old with ambitions. He wants to move to London and get a real job. Which he does when he sleeps his way into a job with PR boss Sheila (Stockard Channing). But when he also falls for Kate (Amanda Ryan), he has to choose between love and a job.
The writer/director team of Tom Hunsinger and Neil Hunter fail to inject much life or passion into Sparkle. The script is a bit lame to be honest. Where films such as Closer really get deep under the skin of its characters and delve into the real issues of relationships, infidelity and sex, Sparkle just skims the surface, never really telling us anything new or anything particularly interesting.
The actors all produce reasonable performances but they fail to really light up the screen. Stockard Channing goes through the motions – she doesn’t really get across much emotion in her performance. Shaun Evans likewise is bland, missing his opportunity to genuinely inhabit his character. While Amanda Ryan who has the best lines, best situations and biggest opportunity to really take the character by the scruff of the neck and really wring all of the emotion and passion out of it, again just does the minimum. Give this sort of role to someone like Gemma Arterton and you’d see the difference, but thankfully she’s busy being a Bond Girl and a Princess of Persia for this lame effort. Bob Hoskins never really strays outside of his comfort zone, preferring instead to play his character as an oh-so-slightly mentally slow, unworldly version of any other character he’s ever played.
Sparkle is OK. It’ll fill up some spare time. It’s inoffensive. It’s the sort of film that you don’t really want to turn off because you still want to know what’s going to happen in the end, without ever really being fully invested in the characters or the storyline.
Ultimately Sparkle fails to live up to its title. It’s a fairly dull run-of-the-mill film that feels as though it was made for TV.