Rock My World
Judging by its generic title and cheap packaging, it would be easy to assume that Rock My World is one of those hapless cinematic orphans that spends years rotting on a shelf before receiving an opportunistic video release due to a cast member's ascent to stardom. The film's low-rent coverwhich features a photo of a teenage-looking Alicia Silverstone juxtaposed artlessly alongside the midriff-baring body of a rocker babesuggests the worst sort of direct-to-video bottom-feeding. Sadly, World is no recently excavated relic. Instead, it's a post- rather than pre-stardom movie for Silverstone, who, over the course of a few poorly chosen vehicles, has skidded from battling Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock for the title of America's cinematic sweetheart to taking supporting roles in direct-to-video throwaways. A culture-clash comedy of the silliest kind, World stars slumming thespians Peter O'Toole and Joan Plowright as broke aristocrats who, for reasons too inane to recount, are forced to masquerade as their own servants. Desperate for cash, O'Toole and Plowright, both lit to resemble wax statues, rent out their stately manor to Global Heresy, a wildly popular band whose music and image suggest it just stepped off a 1993 triple-bill with Spin Doctors and Gin Blossoms. (Silverstone co-stars as a tough, talented studio musician filling in for the group's bassist, who has mysteriously gone missing.) A cultural exchange of sorts ensues, as a perpetually sputtering, outraged O'Toole and his calmer, more rational wife introduce the rockers to cricket and good manners while Global Heresy hips the stuffy couple to Ecstasy, electronica, and the joys of rocking out. Less a culture-clash comedy than an unintentional parody of a culture-clash comedy, Rock My World is a fair amount of fun, albeit probably not for the reasons the filmmakers intended. O'Toole throws himself into a transcendently silly role that's a sustained affront to his dignity; he invests every gag and spit take with decades of authority and experience. The bland Silverstone doesn't fare nearly as well. Not only is she predictably overshadowed by O'Toole and Plowright, but she's also practically blown off the screen by the lower-wattage likes of Dead Man On Campus cut-up Lochlyn Munro. As a post-stardom gig, Silverstone's role in Rock My World is only a step up the dignity ladder from a spot on Hollywood Squares. Ultimately, however, it doesn't matter whether audiences laugh at or with the film, because it's a spectacularly dopey good time just the same.