Made-up

on May 30, 2003 by Susan Green
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Society's fixation with youth comes under scrutiny in this directorial debut by actor Tony Shaloub ("Big Night") that is described in a tag line as "a coming-of-middle-age comedy." He also stars in the mockumentary along with his real-life spouse Brooke Adams ("Gas Food Lodging") and her sister Lynne Adams (TV's "The Guiding Light"), who wrote the script based on her own one-woman play. The family-ties cast includes Eva Amurri, daughter of Susan Sarandon. Gary Sinise appears briefly, as does Light Eternity--who could go far in this life and beyond with a name like that.

Elizabeth (Brooke Adams) is the divorced mother of formerly anorexic Sara (Amurri), a teenager now obsessed with doing makeovers to launch her desired career path to cosmetology. Kate (Lynne Adams) is a nascent filmmaker who persuades her reluctant sibling, Elizabeth (Brooke Adams), to appear in the cinema verité she's shooting about the complex issue of female beauty. Consequently, Kate's inexperienced but enthusiastic crew zooms in on Sara giving Elizabeth a radical new alter ego, courtesy of a wig, a girdle and torturous little devices that enforce a temporary face-lift.

Things get a bit screwball when, for the sake of art, Kate persuades the dolled-up but very uncomfortable Elizabeth to go out to dinner with her ex (Sinise) and his young trophy wife (Eternity). Max (Shaloub), the sweet-natured restaurateur who hosts the gathering, is soon ensnared in the confusion. Since every shot is arranged from the perspective of the faux-documentary's cameras, the clever conceit becomes even funnier on the big screen. The boys in Kate's nascent production company (Lance Krall, Jim Issa and Kalen Conover) are also hilarious whenever they stray into frame. "Made-Up" lampoons the moviemaking process itself, while shining a not particularly flattering spotlight on America's skin-deep notions of pulchritude. Starring Brooke Adams, Eva Amurri, Lynne Adams, Tony Shaloub, Gary Sinise, Light Eternity, Lance Krall, Jim Issa and Kalen Conover. Directed by Tony Shaloub. Written by Lynne Adams. Produced by Lynne Adams, Brooke Adams and Mark Donadio. No distributor set. Satirical comedy. Not yet rated. Running time: 95 min

Tags: Gary Sinise, Tony Shalhoub, Light Eternity, Eva Amurri, Brooke Adams, Lance Krall, Kalen Conover, Lynne Adams, satire, adaptation, divorce, teen
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