"Undiscovered," the critically-panned box office flop that supposedly stars Ashlee Simpson, is now out on DVD, and while not really good, it never attains the level of God-awfulness that I was expecting. The movie is a mildly entertaining if not ultimately flat romantic drama - in other words, some people may actually like it.
Ashlee Simpson, in fact, only has a small role compared to the two leads, played by Steven Strait and Pell James. Neither are especially convincing as lead actors, but they hold their own in a story about rise to fame, fall from glory and the trouble with loving a musician but being scared of the consequences. Yes, something we can relate to so well. So many of us know what it is like to attain everything, have gorgeous girls jumping all over you, and then have the girl of your dreams, who loves you, refuse to be with you because she's worried you'll cheat on her with some groupie.
"Undiscovered" is about just that; a young guy (Strait) is struggling to make a living in L.A., until the girl of his dreams (James) and her friend (Simpson) combine forces to get him noticed by a big-name music producer. In no time, the guy has skyrocketed to fame, but the price is that he may not be able to be with the girl he loves.
"Undiscovered," by and large, is just a normal movie. It isn't as bad as everyone says; it just doesn't engage the audience in an interesting way. The story itself, while standard in some respects, feels different in a way - which is good. Still, it is hard to ever relate to the characters; I never was able to connect with Straight and James' character made no sense most of the time. Sure, she's female, but how many times can one put up with that excuse?
Those looking for a romantic drama with music will probably find "Undiscovered" tolerable; for the rest of us, it is an almost-decent film that never reaches its potential due to a loose script, unfocused characters and actors that don't always quite click.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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