Movie Review - The Fabulous Allan Carr
What's interesting is that a few questions I had about Schwarz's previous feature are answered here. Schwarz directed Tab Hunter Confidential, which was an adaptation of the matinee idol's autobiography. Tab Hunter was a young, handsome actor in Hollywood in the 1950's who was arrested for basically being gay when a gay party was raided by the police. Schwarz's movie never really went into the details of how the party came to be, though one could probably have guessed.
Carr could be described as a trust-fund baby. He's a guy who was given or inherited a lot of money from his wealthy parents who were in the retail furniture business. He was obviously gay. Even though he never identified as such, he certainly wasn't shy. Personality-wise, he was very much a Truman Capote type. He was even a bit of a Steve Rubell type. If he wasn't already, he could have been friends with Liberace, but he wasn't a performer. He wasn't an actor or a musician, but he was very much a showman, flamboyant with a flaming capital F.
However, Carr's personal life in terms of intimate relationships are glossed over here. It's most likely that Carr had no long-term boyfriends. The movie comments on Carr's self-esteem and weight issues, which could have contributed to a lack of boyfriend or lover in Carr's life. There is a passing reference to him losing his virginity in Mexico, but that's about it. Yet, the focus for the most part is Carr's professional life, his Hollywood career as it were, the ups and downs in La La Land. Carr was ultimately a film producer and any film producer will tell you that there are hits and misses, and sometimes, a person can recover from the misses. Sometimes, a person can't.
There is a term called "movie jail." The term isn't used in this documentary but that's essentially what happened to Carr. Movie jail is when a producer or a director can't recover, at least not for a long while. It's when he or she has one too many misses or when he or she has a miss that is so astronomical that it causes the collective Hollywood to back away from that person. Sometimes, a producer or director can go to movie jail if their movie bombs at the box office, if the movie gets the worst critical reviews, or if it's due to personal interactions, which can create what's called creative differences, hostile environments or aggressive and possibly criminal acts.
However, Carr was himself put in so-called movie jail after producing the 61st Academy Awards, which was savaged in the media and then rebuked by the Academy itself. Coincidentally, Ratner was also a producer for the Academy Awards. Ratner was a producer for the 84th Academy Awards. Ratner was fired or had to resign because of an anti-gay remark he made in 2011, a few months before the telecast. Yes, this movie is about Carr but to include an interview with Ratner and not mention the related 2011 incident seems like more than an oversight.
Not Rated but for general audiences.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 30 mins.
In theaters in Los Angeles on June 1.
Available on DVD and VOD on June 5.