|New Line Home Video | Release Date: August 23, 2002||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
It's also unclear just what Niccol wanted this film to be: a satire? a spoof? a black comedy? a pointed social commentary? Perhaps all of the above - way too many hats for a movie this slight to wear.
Niccol gives audiences a very amusing puzzle about authenticity, fraud, and the uses and abuses of technology. That is a fine and funny feat. The very folks responsible for our obsession with celebrity will likely love it. And in loving it, they will no doubt let themselves off the hook. Read full review
That's not to say Simone doesn't offer a good time. Shove aside its self-righteous agenda and it's a deft kick, a light comedy whenever it's not trying to play heavy. And it's bolstered by Al Pacino in a lively performance.
It's a strange, uneven film, hilarious in moments and tin-eared in others, alternately subtle and hammer-handed, acid and dull, as schizophrenic as "Signs" and probably, like that film, best enjoyed in discrete chunks rather than as a whole that needs to be digested equally all at once. Read full review
If this is satire, it's the smug and self-congratulatory kind that lets the audience completely off the hook. Effective satire, the Swiftian brand, seduces us first and then implicates us in the seduction -- we become a target too. But this stuff never gets past the initial step -- it's toothless, as innocuous as the puffery it pretends to skewer. Read full review
I don't believe that anyone will have much trouble seeing what's wrong with the picture, but it's one of those bad movies that you remember with a smile a year later. [9 September 2002, p. 162]
But for what it is, the film supplies enough laughs to bury most nagging existential questions.
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