- 1 hr 52 min
Duets is a 2000 comedy-drama directed by Bruce Paltrow and starring Huey Lewis, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Giamatti, and Maria Bello. The film follows several different characters as they compete in karaoke contests, all with their own personal struggles and dreams. At the center of Duets is Ricky Dean, played by Huey Lewis, a karaoke hustler who travels from city to city and makes his living winning local contests. His life takes a turn when he meets young runaway Liv, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, who wants to be a singer and joins him on his travels. Along the way, they also meet Todd, played by Paul Giamatti, a business executive who is unhappy with his life and finds solace in karaoke. The film's first act sets up the various characters and their motivations while showcasing some lively and fun karaoke scenes. We are introduced to Liv, who is running away from her abusive father and wants to pursue her dream of being a singer. Ricky is a charming, fast-talking man who is always on the move, hiding from his past and living on the edge. Todd is shown as a successful businessman who seems to have everything but is deeply unhappy with his life. As the story progresses, we see the characters' lives intersect as they all end up on the same road trip, competing in karaoke contests along the way. The contests are set up in seedy bars and bowling alleys, and the performances are a mix of hilarious, cringe-worthy, and heartwarming moments. We see Ricky and Liv team up to take on the competition, while Todd finds himself drawn to a young woman he meets on the road. The second act of the film delves deeper into the characters' backstories and their emotional struggles. We learn more about Ricky's past and the reasons for his constant travels, which involve a tragic event that haunts him to this day. Liv's story takes a dark turn, as her father catches up with her and tries to take her back home, leading to a violent confrontation. Todd's story also takes a turn for the worse, as his shady business practices catch up with him and he finds himself in trouble with the law. As the story heads towards its climax, the characters must face their demons and confront their past mistakes. The final act is a mix of thrilling karaoke performances and emotional character moments, as Ricky, Liv, Todd, and the rest of the cast come together for one last competition. Overall, Duets is a heartfelt and entertaining movie that explores the themes of redemption, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together. The karaoke scenes are a lot of fun, and the performances by the cast are all top-notch, with Huey Lewis in particular shining as the charismatic and charming Ricky Dean. The film's emotional moments also hit hard, especially in the third act, and the ending is both satisfying and bittersweet.