×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Out of Sync

Milli Vanilli may have grabbed lip-synch headlines in the late 1980s, but the story of Martha Wash and her work for the C&C Music Factory and Black Box, in which photogenic young women appeared in the photographs and videos while the uncredited heavy-set woman belted out the tunes, seems to hold more dramatic weight a decade after the fact. VH1 tackles a Wash-like saga in its first top-to-bottom fictional telepic, "Out of Sync," a joke-free "music-filled comedy" that mindlessly romps through the cliches of soap operas, the record industry and network movies of the week.

With:
Maggie Stanley - Gail O'Grady Sunni - Kari Wuhrer Roger Deacon - Peter Outerbridge Lowell Levitt - Stewart Bick Josh Stanley - Ryan Dennis Stan Stanley - Jonathan Whitaker Sidney Golden - Harvey Atkin Buddo - Jerry Ciccoritti

This review was corrected on June 18, 2000.

Milli Vanilli may have grabbed lip-synch headlines in the late 1980s, but the story of Martha Wash and her work for the C&C Music Factory and Black Box, in which photogenic young women appeared in the photographs and videos while the uncredited heavy-set woman belted out the tunes, seems to hold more dramatic weight a decade after the fact. VH1 tackles a Wash-like saga in its first top-to-bottom fictional telepic, “Out of Sync,” a joke-free “music-filled comedy” that mindlessly romps through the cliches of soap operas, the record industry and network movies of the week.

Despite a watchable perf from Gail O’Grady (“NYPD Blue”) as the mom who agrees to record some demos on a whim and then discovers her singing being billed as that of an artist known as Sunni (Kari Wuhrer), “Out of Sync” is an apt description of this goopy melodrama. Richard Schenkman’s script is flaccid at every turn as we watch uninspired actors play uninspiring parts. Helmer Graeme Campbell starts the telepic with some blazingly quick edits that gave the first minute or so a “Real World” glaze, but he then drops the process and opts for a matter-of-fact storytelling style and pace.

Roger Deacon (a well-intentioned portrayal from Peter Outerbridge) is a spent record producer down to his last dime trying to salvage a career he threw away on drugs and drinking. His pot-smoking engineer Buddo (Jerry Ciccoritti) is the Cheech to his Chong as they muddle through singer after singer. Record mogul Sidney Golden (a stiff Harvey Atkin) offers Deacon a return to the bigtime with Sunni, a permanently off-key singer whose talents appear limited to the bedroom. Deacon and Sunni immediately hit it off on the sex front (natch), which leads Deacon to working out ways to hide her lack of talent.

Meanwhile, Maggie Stanley is battling with her husband Stan (Jonathan Whitaker) about returning to college to study music now that her daughter is in school and son Josh (Ryan Dennis) fills his time with his garage band. Husband puts up a fight and before you know, circumstance finds her drunk in a bar singing “Rainy Days and Mondays” and Deacon has found “the voice.”

Label interest in Stanley is non-existent — they want a Sunni record. Sunni consistently overrates her own talent and she honestly believes the playbacks are of her singing, not Stanley, whose family is smitten with the sex-kitten songstress.

Sunni demands a “Wireless” appearance, which we eventually learn is an “Unplugged”-like show that would force her to perform live. Sabotage leads to a happily-ever-after ending.

Wuhrer, the former MTV veejay who has become actress most likely to be nude in a straight-to-video pic, is an annoying bimbo with a constant jiggle. Camera takes careful aim to maximize body shots over any dramatic connection the character may make with the story. Rest of the acting is perfunctory. Music is catchy at times.

Out of Sync

VH1; Wed., July 12; 9 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Toronto by VH1 Original Movies in association with Hearst Entertainment. Executive producers, Marian Brayton, Rona Edwards; director, Graeme Campbell; writer, Eric Williams.

Crew: Camera, Nikos Evdemon; editor, Ralph Bunjes; music, Jonathan Goldsmith; casting, Mary Buck, Buck Edelman Casting. 2 HOURS.

Cast: Maggie Stanley - Gail O'Grady Sunni - Kari Wuhrer Roger Deacon - Peter Outerbridge Lowell Levitt - Stewart Bick Josh Stanley - Ryan Dennis Stan Stanley - Jonathan Whitaker Sidney Golden - Harvey Atkin Buddo - Jerry CiccorittiWith: Pascal Petardi, Alex House, Lee Olivera, Alexander Zanetti, Dan Stadnicki, Jon Davidson.

More TV

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Signs of Solidarity and Strain Emerge as Week 2 of WGA-Talent Agency Standoff Begins

    Hundreds of WGA members rallied solidly behind their union last week as the industry grappled with uncertainties spurred by the sudden break between writers and their talent agency representatives. But as the standoff heads into its second week, signs of strain among some WGA members are beginning to emerge. Shalom Auslander, author and creator of [...]

  • Jon Snow Arya Stark Game of

    'Game of Thrones' Final Season Vegas Odds Reveal Wild Theories

    With “Game of Thrones” hype at an all-time high, Las Vegas may be raking in as much money as the Iron Bank. HBO’s fantasy masterpiece has seized the gambling world’s attention nearly as much as the Super Bowl or Kentucky Derby. Fans spew countless theories on social media, such as which characters will be axed [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • Adam Lambert, of Queen, performs at

    Adam Lambert Back to 'Idol' to Mentor Finalists Through Queen's Catalog

    Adam Lambert famously launched his career on “American Idol” a decade ago performing a brilliant audition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He wrapped that amazing eighth season performing with the band on the season finale, and years later earned his current spot as the front man touring as Queen + Adam Lambert. On April 28, Lambert comes full circle as he steps [...]

  • Lily Tomlin SAG Lifetime Acheivement Award

    TV News Roundup: Netflix's 'Laugh-In' 50th Anniversary Tribute Sets Premiere Date

    In today’s TV News roundup, Netflix sets the premiere date for its 50th anniversary special of “Laugh-In.” DATES “Laugh-In: The Stars Celebrate,” the 50th anniversary tribute to the original series by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, will premiere on Netflix on May 14. The special, which was taped at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, pays [...]

  • Texas Tech's Norense Odiase (32) shoots

    Live+3 Ratings for Week of April 8: NCAA Championship Game Dunks on Competition

    The final of the 2019 NCAA basketball tournament, in which Virginia triumphed over a spirited Texas Tech team, unsurprisingly finished way out in front in the Live+3 ratings for the week of April 8. Although the sports broadcast’s scripted competition made some gains, its 5.4 ratings still more than doubled that of “Grey’s Anatomy” in [...]

  • Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million

    Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million Total Viewers Across TV News

    Coverage of the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into whether President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice unsurprisingly caused a ratings bump across TV news yesterday. In terms of overall viewership, around 11 million people tuned in to see Attorney General William Barr’s news conference regarding the report’s release, and the news coverage surrounding it. According [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content