Sparkle (DVD Review)31 Aug, 2010 By: Angelique Flores
Stars Shaun Evans, Amanda Ryan, Stockard Channing, Bob Hoskins.
This is not the 1976 musical drama starring Irene Cara, though there is a character here trying to make it as a singer too. Instead, this fantastically charming comedy-drama is set in England.
The 22-year-old Sam and his mother Jill live in Liverpool. The two are close, though Sam constantly takes jabs at his mom about not knowing who his father is and her cheap singing gigs at local nightclubs.
Stuck in rut himself, Sam jumps at the chance to move to London in their friend Vince’s (Bob Hoskins) flat, and Jill comes along.
While working as a wine waiter, Sam meets wealthy older woman Sheila (Stockard Channing). She hires him as a personal assistant and the two become romantically involved. Sheila, meanwhile, has a side relationship with Vince’s brother Bernie, who is married.
The feelings between Sheila and Sam are overshadowed when Sam meets lovely Kate while working one of Sheila’s parties. More age appropriate for him, Kate is fun-loving, smart and politically conscious. She lives with her uncle Tony (Anthony Head) and his much younger boyfriend, who are the most normal and stable couple in the entire film.
Though all these tangled relationships seem like a chaotic mess, the film carefully balances everything. The gravity of some of these situations is lightened by some funny scenes and clever, witty dialogue. And the characters’ quirks and flaws make them so likeable that you can’t help but feel for them when things aren’t going their way. Shaun Evans and Amanda Ryan as Sam and Kate, respectively, have wonderful chemistry. Bob Hoskins is a delight to watch as is Stockard Channing in the type of role most often given to men.
Though it’s not entirely clear to me where the film’s title originated from, it certainly does sparkle nonetheless.