Pop's 'N Sync Guys Make Movie Deal
For better or worse, I can tell you this exclusively: two members of the hot pop group 'N Sync are headed to the movies.
Conveniently named bass singer Lance Bass has signed a deal with Miramax to make his first movie through his own production company. The movie, Bass says, will be called On the Line. It's a romantic comedy in which Bass falls for a mystery girl he spots riding the Chicago el, attempts to woo, and finds obstacles of the usual boy-meets-girl scenario.
Fellow 'N Sync-er Joey Fantone also has a part in the movie.
The deal was made yesterday afternoon at the Sundance Film Festival, where indie filmmakers were trying to sell their new product to distributors.
'N Sync had a huge hit last year with their album No Strings Attached and the single "Bye Bye Bye," although they were by and large snubbed by the Grammy nominating committee. That hasn't stopped the group, however. They're in the studio right now, Bass reports, working on a new album which will be released June 1st.
"The big difference is that we're writing a lot of the songs ourselves," 21-year-old, Mississippi-born Bass told me in his Southern drawl. "We'll have a couple of songs by Max Martin, who wrote 'Bye Bye Bye,' but mostly it will be us."
This makes sense for the members of the group — they'll be able to earn publishing royalties which will make them even richer.
The group is on a roll right now. They're performing with Aerosmith during the Super Bowl half time show next Sunday, collaborating on the world-famous rock band's "Walk this Way."
But Bass is sorry about the rivalry that's developed with another group, their Orlando-based former pals Backstreet Boys. Both groups are signed to the same music company, Zomba Music, which last year moved the Boys to Jive Records, the same label as 'N Sync. The result has been lawsuits and charges by the Boys that they have not received the same favorable treatment as 'N Sync .
"It's too bad," says Bass. "They've had some unfair things to happen to them, which has kind of made them act mean to us."
Bass also had some criticism for the current crop of female singers who have incorporated lip-synching into their acts. We talked about Britney Spears' most recent embarrassing performance on the American Music Awards.
"It seems like all the girls have major lip-synching," he said, "and it's because there's so much dancing. Maybe because there are five of us, someone can always fill in a voice when we're dancing. But," he insisted to me, "we never lip-synch."
From a mostly desultory field so far, Double Whammy debuted last night at Sundance with a little bit of glamour: Liz Hurley popped in and brought with her a trail of paparazzi and a celebrity perp walk outside the Eccles Auditorium.
It's the kind of thing you don't see here too often — people trying to scalp tickets outside the theater, flashbulbs popping, and a long wait list line.
Last year it was the same thing for American Psycho. You remember American Psycho, don't you? Once we all got inside the theatre, the emperor's new clothes were a little threadbare.
Sad to say, Hurley's Double Whammy, directed by Tom DiCillo and starring Denis Leary, repeated last year's catastrophe. Here's the scenario: Leary plays a wisecracking, pot-smoking New York detective who's constantly being upbraided by his superior for being too roguish. When his bad back prohibits him from stopping a shoot-out at a fast-food restaurant, Leary goes to a chiropractor (Hurley) and the two of them get horizontal fast.
Only the audience gets manipulated in this doctor's office.
Double Whammy has the distinction of having a small boy pick up a gun and shoot someone point blank in the back (this can be rationalized because he kills the fast-food murderer). It also features a New York city cop who smokes hashish in a pipe for fun when he's at home.
DiCillo, saddled with trying to yet again make Leary a romantic lead (it didn't work in Two if By Sea with Sandra Bullock and it doesn't work here), has trouble deciding whether or not Double Whammy is a Naked Gun-like comedy or a straight- ahead Lethal Weapon. The movie seems to be parodying itself while simultaneously plodding along a conventional route. The two attitudes make for a confusing and ultimately incoherent presentation.
The only point of interest or wit is a DiCillo-like subplot involving a pair of wannabe screenwriters who dress in matching red leisure suits. Otherwise, Double Whammy is singularly unfunny and unwatchable. Soon to be seen on the Starz Channel for unreleasable movies, no doubt.
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