The Fabulous Allan Carr - SIFF Review (2017)
SHOULD I SEE IT?
Hollywood documentaries are, by design, insightful and fascinating on a lot of levels, and Allan Carr's story is one that serves as both a tale of a meteoric rise and fall, as well as a cautionary tale of how the entertainment industry can give them everything and nothing all at once.
Digs deep in some places and skirts the surface in others, The Fabulous Allan Carr could benefit from a longer running time, and pacing problems make the 90 minutes feel almost incomplete.
The Fabulous Allan Carr takes an in depth look at the late Hollywood and Broadway producer, Allan Carr, who saw extraordinary highs and soul-crushing lows in a wild and careening 40-year career.
Behind the scenes, Carr was an impassioned, polarizing figure who saw room in the spotlight for not only his films, but also himself. Emerging from the 1960s as a popular and successful talent agent, Carr latched on to one discovery in particular, Ann-Margret, and helped make her a star through producing television specials and landing her roles that would make her a household name. Carr became a 1970s talk show staple and saw his meteoric rise to success paid back handsomely when the movie Grease! became a global smash in 1978.
However, for all his success, Carr had a string of dismal failures, including the Village People-led disco musical Can't Stop The Music!, the ill-advised Grease 2 remake, which starred Maxwell Caulfield and gave Michelle Pfeiffer her breakthrough in the business, and a money-losing softcore adult remake of Where The Boys Are.
Director Jeffrey Schwarz, a deftly skilled documentarian and storyteller, keeps things moving quickly, at times too quickly, but removes as much of the mystery as he can to show us a man truly driven by the love of glitz, glamour, and fame. Sadly, Carr's obnoxious behavior at times, and an occasional self-obsessed push for personal recognition, left bridges burned in his wake.
When Carr's big comeback came, his hope was that he would find a way to reinvent his "brand" by producing the thing he loved more than anything else - The Oscars. Unfortunately, the 1989 Oscar telecast, which includes the historically panned Snow White duet with Rob Lowe, where the duo inexplicably sand "Proud Mary", is one for the ages.
Schwarz gets to the inner workings of the personally reclusive producer and offers a kind and engaging documentary. The Fabulous Allan Carr is a must-watch for cinephiles and casual movie fans alike. Breezy, at 89 minutes, the film documents the rise and fall, and the subsequent second rise and fall, of a man who lived fast and embraced all that Hollywood could offer.
CAST & CREW
Documentary Featuring: Allan Carr, Steve Guttenberg, Alana Stewart, Maxwell Caulfield, Valerie Perrine, Connie Stevens, Brett Ratner, Marlo Thomas, Lorna Luft, Sherry Lansing, Bruce Vilanch, Robert Osborne, Randal Kleiser, Randy Jones, Frank DeCaro.
Director: Jeffrey Schwarz
SIFF Premiere Date: May 19, 2017
Lottie & Lorraine Pictures