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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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Duets (2000). Directed by Bruce Paltrow and written by John Byrum. The film starts with Ricky Dean (Huey Lewis), a karaoke hustler (seriously), trying to make his way to Omaha for a huge karaoke prize. Meanwhile, burned out salesman Todd Woods (Paul Giamatti) discovers karaoke as part of a mid-life crisis. And in yet another story strand, Suzi Loomis (Maria Bellow) will do anything (and she means *anything*) to get to Omaha for the karaoke prize. Duets is a fairly classic road movie, weaving together three troubled individuals with a further subset of troubled individuals they bring along for the ride. The writing and comedy isn't super sharp, but it's good, and very much bitter-sweet. Great performances abound, particularly some superb karaoke set pieces, including (and surprisingly) from Gwyneth Paltrow, who demonstrates she was a talented actress once. Certainly a fun film for those who like a mix of classic music, albeit actor-ily rendered, and dramedy. 4/5 (Good)