Left in the lurch when a temperamental actress walks off the set, director Viktor Taransky (Al Pacino) is in trouble. Not only is he without a star, but his studio-exec ex-wife (Catherine Keener) fires him, endangering his chance at a comeback. So he decides to take matters into his own hands -- digitally, that is. He creates the ultimate star: Simone, a beautiful, computer-generated actress who will always do exactly what he says. Or will she?

Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”

One of the funniest and most ambitious movies of 2002 was little-loved by audiences, probably because of its tedious nature. We know where the story will go and it's certainly not in a hurry. But the wit of its assorted one-liners cannot be denied, especially when delivered by such old pros at satire as Pruitt Taylor Vince. This film does fall flat in a few scenes when it resorts to sitcom setups - I think Niccol doesn't trust his good material enough - but overall it's funny and satisfying. Pacino should try more comedy.

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