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With: Jade Gordon, Ally Sheedy, Rosanna Arquette, Lucinda Jenney, John Taylor, John Doe, Martin Kemp, Michael Des Barres
Written by: Allison Anders, Kurt Voss
Directed by: Allison Anders, Kurt Voss
MPAA Rating: R for strong language, some drug content and sexuality
Running Time: 92
Date: 01/26/1999

Sugar Town (1999)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Facing the Music

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Director Allison Anders returns with this look at the fringes of the rock music scene, a semi-follow up to her underrated Grace of My Heart (1996). Instead of focusing on visionaries who changed music as we know it, Sugar Town follows several characters in their late thirties as they try to get on with their lives in an industry built for young people. John Taylor (from Duran Duran), Rosanna Arquette, John Doe (from X), Ally Sheedy, and Beverly D'Angelo star. The characters and situations are a little flat, but the picture has a lot of energy and warm humor. Anders clearly cultivates a feeling of family on her set, and when she's at her best, that feeling is transferred to the audience. Like This Is Spinal Tap (1984), the movie has some funny (fake) songs, like "Gravy Stain Girl." Sugar Town draws us in and we leave caring about the characters we've met.

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