And then Tom Cruise shows up, almost redeeming the whole project. He plays the Axl Rose-ish Stacee Jaxx, a megastar who, through his sleazeball manager (Paul Giamatti), has agreed to do a free one-night stand to save the club. All the other characters are either cartoons (Brand, Baldwin, Zeta-Jones) or clichés (the two young lovers). Stacee starts out cartoonish, but then, some way or another, Cruise brings a little more depth and texture to the character than the film deserves.
Cruise also does his own singing — more than adequately. At first I doubted the filmmakers' claim that no voice doubles were used, until I heard Giamatti. Yep: Definitely no voice double there. The rest of the non-singers on hand sound pretty good, until Mary J. Blige shows up (as the manager of a nearby strip joint) to remind us of what a professional sounds like.
The script isn't particularly funny. Most of the humor comes from Baldwin, Brand and Cruise, but — as in a Marx Brothers film — everything grinds to a halt when the young lovers are center stage, which unfortunately is most of the time.