DESCRIPTION: 2015 comedy about a music manager who pushes a girl to sing on Afghanistan's version of American Idol.
DIRECTED BY: Barry Levinson (Rain Man)
WRITTEN BY: Mitch Glazer. A frequent collaborator of Bill Murray, he wrote Scrooged, helped produce Lost in Translation and contributed to the Very Murray Christmas special for Netflix. It's loosely inspired by the 2009 documentary Afghan Star
- Bill Murray as Richie Lanz
- Kate Hudson as Merci
- Zooey Deschanel as Ronnie
- Danny McBride as Nick
- Scott Caan as Jake
- Bruce Willis as Bombay Brian
- Kelly Lynch as Sylvia. Her husband wrote the movie.
- Taylor Kinney as Private Barnes
STUDIO: Produced by QED Films. Distributed by Open Road Films, a joint venture between the AMC and Regal theater chains.
MY TAKE: I couldn't get into it. Bill Murray was as charming as ever. And I like the idea behind it. But the story was lame. It wasn't funny enough to be a comedy or serious enough to be a drama.
- Setara Hussainzada, the singer who inspired the movie, did not have such a happy ending. She's been in hiding ever since she performed, threatened with assassination by the Taliban and other Islamic fundamentalists angry at seeing a woman perform.
- Tanked at the box office. Making $3.4 million on a budget of $15 million.
- Filmed in Morocco.
- The producers were denied permission to use the classic rock song of the same name.
- Shia LaBeouf was originally going to have a role but backed out.
- Ironically the poppy field is shown in the one area of Afghanistan where they can't grow.
- Cute Guy Alert
- Taylor Kinney. I've heard he's a sex addict. He had a wild romance with Lady Gaga.