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Be Cool

By Bret McCabe | Posted 3/9/2005

Plopping shylock-turned-movie producer Chili Palmer (John Travolta) in the music industry sucks the pith out of 1995’s mobster-in-Hollywood satire Get Shorty. What’s left is a baffling series of inflated clichés. Palmer decides to manage hopeful singer Linda Moon (Christina Milian), stealing her from wanksta manager Raji (Vince Vaughn, ridiculous as ever). Palmer hooks up with struggling record exec Edie (Uma Thurman), who owes beaucoup bucks to Ivy League gangsta producer Sin LaSalle (Cedric the Entertainer), after her husband was whacked by Russian mobsters. Don’t worry: The plot matters less than the sense it does not make. Be Cool knows its music biz isn’t half as zesty as Hollywood, and it reaches for lifeless movie jokes and riggings: How do you muck up a Travolta-Thurman dance scene? Set it to the Black-Eyed Peas. Saving the flick from total Blair Witch 2-ville falls on the Rock’s Elliot Wilhelm. As a not so much closeted as unconfidently gay aspiring actor slumming as a bodyguard, the Rock gamely animates Elliot’s naively wide baby-doe eyes, and his impromptu audition—a Bring It On “monologue” that gives that flick its name—almost makes sitting through the crap worth it. Almost.

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