Rated NR

Things get out of hand when a director (Al Pacino) invents a virtual (i.e. computer-generated) movie star who becomes so popular he just can’t let the public know she isn’t real. Rachel Roberts is aptly flat and cold as the blandly beautiful Simone, whose existence ironically seems to make worthwhile and eclipse that of her creator. This film’s writer-director, Andrew Niccol, penned The Truman Show and wrote and directed Gattaca, two fine examples of speculative fiction about the subtle and morally complicated differences between reality and artificiality. But despite the presence of acting legend Pacino and independent-film talents such as Catherine Keener, Jason Schwartzman and Pruitt Taylor Vince, this picture feels as if someone took some science-fiction leftovers, sprinkled on a little farce, stuck the whole thing in the microwave and hit the "reheat" button. It fills up space and time but doesn’t taste too good.


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