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Honeydripper

A hot sticky mess
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  January 16, 2008
2.0 2.0 Stars
honeydripperinside
Danny Glover and Lisa Gay Hamilton

John Sayles’s first clunker is a threadbare yarn about the emergence of rock and roll that substitutes clichés for character development. Danny Glover plays a juke-joint owner in ’50s Alabama whose past is playing karmic catch-up, with the law (a greasy Stacy Keach), the landlord (smooth Vondie Curtis-Hall), and his lady (Bible-toting Lisa Gay Hamilton) on his back. There’s also his troubled conscience, in the persona of Grammy winner Keb’ Mo’ as Possum, a blind blues singer who spouts hackneyed dialogue. Only anachronistic blueswoman Bertha Mae Spivey, played by Stax Records veteran Mable John, seems real, but her death early on buoys Sayles’s simple strategy for portraying the succession of musical styles. Glover saves the day with the Little Rascals Maneuver: he puts on a show. Its star is newcomer Gary Clark Jr., a real-life musician from Austin. Clark’s innocence is endearing, but only the era-appropriate soundtrack makes this fractured fairy tale tolerable. 123 minutes | Boston Common + Fenway + Kendall Square + Circle/Chestnut Hill + suburbs
  Topics: Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Pop and Rock Music,  More more >
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