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Genre: Comedy/Musical/Performing Arts and Politics
Starring: Hugh Grant, Mandy Moore, Dennis Quaid, Marcia Gay Harden, Chris Klein, Jennifer Coolidge, Willem Dafoe
Director: Paul Weitz
Rating: PG
Year Made: 2006






Languages: English, Japanese, Thai
Subtitles: English, Japanese, Thai, Korean, Indonesian (Bahasa), Mandarin Traditional
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 47 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: HVN Berjaya




Imagine a country where the President never reads the newspaper, where the government goes to war for all the wrong reasons, and more people vote for a pop idol than their next President. A satire who focuses on reality shows like American Idol. Sally's (Mandy Moore) dream is to become a music star and to participate in American Dreamz show. In order to achieve this, she leaves her boyfriend and mixes up with the host (Hugh Grant) of the program. Meanwhile, an Arabian boy travels to the USA to visit their relatives and, accidentally, he becomes a participant of the show. The president of the USA (Dennis Quaid) is kind of depressed, but the vice president comes up with the idea of a live presentation in the show...


Admit it, all of you out there have dreamt of being a star. The fame, the glamour, the popularity, what’s there not to like? Oh, in case you have forgotten, the key word here is “dream”.

While the optimistic will tell you that it is important to dream and stay hopeful, the pessimistic will tell you that it is quite sad that what we do best in our sad little lives is to dream. Confused about what this review is getting at? This is what exactly this movie is like, uncertain and undecided about its direction.

The plot tells the everyday story of common people who dream of being stars. Participating in reality television shows seems to be the best and most convenient outlet for these people. There is Sally, who is willing to go all out to be on the series. Then there is Omer, who travels to the USA and becomes an accidental star on the show. Even the president is interested in getting himself some airtime on the show, in the name of good press.

While you may share the same sentiments as us, thinking that this is a very interesting premise, there is just something not right in this mix.

The movie attempts to explore the possibility of putting up a satire about the world we live in, which has become how it is today, thanks to the mass media, globalization and all those important academic issues.

On the other hand, there is some attempt at having fun, with songs, music and comedy to create a lighthearted mood. You’d enjoy the performances of Mandy Moore (who plays the materialistic Sally) and Sam Gozeri (who plays the endearing Omer). You’d enjoy how Dennis Quaid plays his wimpy President role. You’d also enjoy Hugh Grant’s character as the game host, although he is no Simon Cowell (or Ken Lim for that matter).

That is quite a lot to pack into 107 minutes, if you ask us.

The movie is still quite enjoyable overall, thanks to Paul Weitz’s ability to come up with immensely enjoyable sequences of contestants singing their hearts out, and wannabes practicing their vocals. While Weitz’s past works include 2002’s Without A Boy and 2004’s In Good Company, his latest work is interlaced with some rather odd scenes which seem out of place. Serious scenes about terrorism and racism just do not gel with the whole mood of the movie.

Performance wise, Moore is definitely one understated actress singer. While she may not be your typical pretty face, her unique X-factor is what we like about her. Grant’s playboy character suits this role well, while Quaid’s aloofness is a pleasurable watch too. The all-star cast is rounded up by very capable actors like the reliable Willem Dafoe and Marcia Gay Harden, and the engaging Chris Klein and John Cho.

We really wanted this to be a pleasant dream, with all the above likeable cast. But like all dreams, there should be a time when you wake up and face the somewhat harsh realities around you.


This Code 3 DVD only includes two trailers from Universal Pictures – The Break Up and You, Me And Dupree


The visual transfer on this disc is fine, while there are interesting options of English Dolby 5.1, Japanese 5.1 and Thai 5.1 to listen to. Sometimes we wonder who gets the interesting jobs of dubbing these DVDs.



Review by John Li




Other titles from HVN Berjaya:

. Aeon Flux

. Inside Man

. Elizabethtown

. Spongebob Squarepants Movie

. Four Brothers

. War Of The Worlds

. Munich

. Two for the Money

. King Kong

. American Pie: Band Camp

. Surviving Christmas

. Perfect Man, The

. Madagascar



This review is made possible with the kind support from HVN Berjaya


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