The opening scene of "Duets" is a gem. '80s yuppie-rocker Huey Lewis walks into a karaoke bar sporting shop-class glasses and a thrift shop polyester suit. Turning the doofus volume up to 10, he starts popping off about how this singing-along thing doesn't look so tough, and before long he's bet the joint's champion amateur crooner a fat wad of cash that he can win the evening's singing competition.
Way before the hayseed patrons catch on, you've realized Huey is a fly-by-night karaoke hustler! What a great comic concept. As he belts out a Joe Cocker tune and takes off with the money, you'll even be reminded of how annoyingly catchy Huey Lewis and the News' cheesy pop anthems were way back when.
But then he goes home with some bar tramp at the end of the night, and the movie's tone goes into a steep tailspin of narrative miscalculations and cinematic ineptitude that ends in a crash with no survivors. Instantly you can't stand this Lewis' character. He's exposed as a sorry, irresponsible slimebag. To make matters worse, when he's not singing, Lewis' acting is so wooden that if you were there when he fell in the forest, you still wouldn't hear anything.
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