Directed by Vondie Curtis Hall, starring Mariah Carey, Max Beesley, Shwantae Harris aka Da Brat, Tia Texada.

Singer Mariah Carey makes her feature film debut in Glitter, the story of an idealistic and ambitious young singer, Billie Frank, who, despite her difficult childhood, manages to rise to stardom and make it big-time in the US music business.

Glitter has all the hallmarks of a cinematic fairytale with a few tragic elements thrown in for good (or bad) measure – struggling girl dreams of stardom, struggling girl meets producer and falls in love, struggling girl struggles no more. The result is more than a little predictable.

Billie's musical talents are discovered by charming pop- DJ Julian Dice, played by Beesley. Hitting it off immediately, the too become business partners and yes, as you might have guessed, lovers. An ambitious musician himself, Dice has all the right business contacts for Billie. Unfortunately for his own career, it's Billie who shines through and because of her vocal talents becomes recognized for the musical star she is.

Billie becomes a successful pop icon and Dice, unable to realise his own dreams as a musician, becomes increasingly more jealous of her. Naturally this creates serious problems for the relationship and Billie is forced to make some hard decisions – nail biting stuff? Please…

A central part of the film, of course, is the music. After all, a Mariah Carey film without Mariah Carey music would be…well, …almost bearable? Just like Carey's music, the film revolves around the starry-eyed themes of holding onto one's dreams and the power of love to conquer all obstacles. The only saving grace on this front is that Carey's voice is powerful, unlike her acting ability. Stick to the singing Mariah.

Admittedly the 80's backdrop to the movie is recreated imaginatively throughout. But, a little like that not-so-distant era with its leg-warmers, stone-washed denim and ski-pants, this film is one to cringe at rather than celebrate.

Caroline Earley