By Anthony Miele | September 16, 2000

On the surface, and from the trailer, the viewer is made to believe that the new Gwyneth Paltrow / Bruce Paltrow collaboration is simply a nice little movie about people performing with karaoke machines and having a grand-ole time. This could not be further from the truth. This film is intended to have a much deeper and more emotional meaning.
You see, “Duets” is really about the relationships between all of these boring and/or whiney pairs: Todd Woods & Reggie Kane (Paul Giamatti and Andre Braugher respectively); Suzi Loomis & Billy Hannon (Maria Bello and Scott Speedman…formerly Brad Pitt); and Liv & Ricky Dean (Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis.)
Briefly, Giamatti is sick and tired of traveling all over the country and receiving no respect from his spoiled rotten family. Braugher is an ex-con who, unexplainably, decides to re-up with his evil ways…because he cannot seem to find a productive outlet for his “fine voice” (this is only a problem that an ex-con could have in a movie). Maria Bello is a woman who seems to give sexual favors to every man EXCEPT the one she should. Scott Speedman is an underachieving loser who…well, owns half a cab. Huey Lewis is a karaoke hustler (again, only something that could exist in a movie) who is detached from everyone and everything. Lastly, we have poor little Gwyneth Paltrow, whose character honestly seems retarded. Like Forrest Gump, she is slow on the uptake and as naive as they come.
None of these characters or scenarios are at all believable or even remotely interesting. In fact originally, as most are likely aware, this was to be a vehicle for Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt. Rumor has it that once their relationship dissolved, so did Pitt’s involvement. From the looks of the finished product, it may have been this script that caused their eventual downfall.

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