Glitter is a 2001 American romantic musical drama film, starring Mariah Carey and directed by Vondie Curtis Hall.


Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about
the entire movie.

Lillian Frank is a performer at a nightclub. She tries to rouse the crowd with her torch song, "Lillie's Blues" with her daughter Billie accompanying her on vocals. The plot fails and Lillian is fired. She feels defeated and lights a cigarette, accidentally falls asleep with it which starts a fire, causing the building to be evacuated. Due to Lillian's actions, Billie is placed in foster care.

Years later in 1983, an adult Billie is a club dancer along with her foster-care friends Louise and Roxanne. They meet Timothy Walker, who offers a contract as backup singers and dancers to the singer Sylk and the three are contracted.

Later at a nightclub hosted by Julian "Dice" Black, Sylk debuts with her song "All My Life". Dice discovers that Billie is the real singer of the song, as a means to cover up Sylk's absymal singing ability. Impressed, Dice wishes to produce her, but Billie raises concerns about her contract with Timothy and he eventually agrees on the provision that Dice pays him $100,000.

Billie and Dice start working on songs and ultimately, they sign with Guy Richardson of a major record label. With success in their hands, he asks her up to his apartment and they sleep together. Billie's first major single, "Loverboy" is a success. Billie is called to perform at an awards ceremony where she meets singer Rafael. She gets a threat from Timothy concerning the debt that Dice failed to pay.

Upset about how Dice lied about her contract and his arrest, Billie argues with and leaves him. Following the break-up, she collaborates with several songwriters, including Rafael (with whom she makes another hit single, "Want You") & her debut album becomes a massive success.

Billie begins writing a song on her own, due to her emotional pain. Dice also misses her and also begins writing a song. She goes to Dice's apartment to reconcile with him, but discovers he is not home. She discovers that the music he has written and realizes they wrote the same song: "Never Too Far".

Dice (upon seeing Billie's lipstick prints on his music sheet) plans a reconciliation, but he is shot dead by Timothy. Before playing at Madison Square Garden, Billie sees the news report of Dice's death.

Onstage after, she commands the band to stop playing "Loverboy" and tells the audience, "Everybody out there, don't ever take anybody... for granted." She then starts to sing "Never Too Far".

Afterwards, Billie reads a note Dice had left her, where he tells her that he has found Billie's mother. Her limo takes her to the secluded rural property where she is reunited with her mother once again.


  • Mariah Carey as Billie Frank
  • Max Beesley as Julian "Dice" Black
  • Terrence Howard as Timothy Walker
  • Da Brat as Louise
  • Tia Texada as Roxanne
  • Eric Benét as Rafael
  • Valarie Pettiford as Lillian Frank
  • Ann Magnuson as Kelly
  • Dorian Harewood as Guy Richardson
  • Grant Nickalls as Jack Bridges
  • Padma Lakshmi as Sylk
  • Isabel Gomes as Young Billie Frank
  • Courtnie Beceiro as Young Roxanne
  • Lindsey Pickering as Young Louise


In 1997, Mariah Carey began working on a film and soundtrack project called "All That Glitters," but during that time, her record company Columbia Records pressured Carey to release a compilation album in time for the favorable holiday season in November, so the film was put on hold.

In 1999, Carey worked on her album "Rainbow" which caused the project to be put on hold once again. She published some of the material on Rainbow, in which she fully exerted creative control over the album and its sound.

Then, Carey completed her contract with Columbia Records and later signed a US$100 million record deal with Virgin Records (EMI Records). She was given full conceptual and creative control over the project.

Carey opted to record an album partly mixed with 1980s-influenced disco and other similar genres in order to go hand-in-hand with the film's theme.

As the film's release date grew nearer, the movie and album title were changed from "All That Glitters" to "Glitter."

Carey developed the film's concept (which was later expanded by Kate Lanier). She said they rewrote a lot of the screenplay on the set and it came from improvisation.

The filming sessions for "Glitter" were held in New York City and Toronto in late September of 2000.

The fashions in the film were highlighted by costume designer Joseph G. Aulisi and the showcased clothing were by Soo Luen Tom, Luis Sequeira, Richard Saenz, Renee Fontana and Michael Warbrock.


Following commencement for "Glitter" and the release of the soundtrack's lead single "Loverboy", Mariah Carey embarked on a short promotional campaign for the song and its parent album. But during the campaign, she exhibited what was reported as "erratic behavior".

On July 17, 2001, Carey had an interview on the BET Network music program "106 & Park" During the interview, she hid her thighs behind large pillows and ranted that her life was "one day that was continuous".

Two days later, on July 19, 2001, Carey made a surprise appearance on the MTV music program "Total Request Live." She came out onto the filming stage, pushing an ice cream cart while wearing an oversized shirt.

Seemingly anxious and exhilarated, Carey began giving out individual bars of ice cream to fans and guests on the program, while waving to the crowd down below on Times Square while diverging into a rambling monologue regarding therapy.

Carey then walked to Daly's platform and began a striptease in which she shed her shirt to reveal a tight yellow and green ensemble, leading him to exclaim, "Mariah Carey has lost her mind!"

On July 20, 2001, Carey held a record signing for the soundtrack's lead single "Loverboy" at Roosevelt Field shopping mall in Long Island before fans and the media.

As a camera crew covered the event, she began rambling on several subjects before finally discussing radio-host Howard Stern and how his form of humor on his program bothered her greatly. At that point, Carey's publicist Cindi Berger grabbed the microphone from her hand and asked the news crew to stop filming. Within a few days, Carey posted erratic voice messages on her website which were soon taken down.

On July 26, 2001, Carey was hospitalized, citing "extreme exhaustion" and a "physical and emotional breakdown." Following her induction at an un-disclosed hospital in Connecticut, she remained hospitalized and under doctor's care for two weeks, followed by an extended absence from the public.

Following Carey's publicized breakdown and hospitalization, Virgin Records and 20th Century Fox delayed the release of the film and the soundtrack. On August 9, 2001, it was announced that the film & soundtrack would be delayed for three weeks.

Carey's first promotional appearance to promote the film itself was on its opening day on Fox Theater, Westwood Village in jeans and a black tank top adorned with an American flag, paying homage to victims of the September 11 attacks.

After giving interviews and signing autographs, she sat in the center section of the theatre flanked by security guards and handlers, along with audience members who had won tickets through Los Angeles radio station Power 106.

During her appearance, Carey said she hoped that "Glitter" would provide movie-goers an emotional escape during the attacks' aftermath in the country, saying, "But obviously nothing can overshadow the events that have gone on, and I need to stay focused on that."


Box Office

"Glitter" was released in the United States on September 21, 2001.

On its opening day, the film grossed an estimated $786,436 in 1,202 theaters.

On the first weekend of its release, "Glitter" was the eleventh highest grossing film, grossing an estimate of $2,414,596. By the second week, the film dropped a 61.1% on tickets sales, ranking at number 15 at the box office.

It was originally scheduled to open over Labor Day weekend, but the film was pushed back three weeks after Carey was admitted to a hospital for what she stated was extreme exhaustion.

The film was a commercial failure, grossing a total $4,274,407 in the United States. Worldwide, it grossed a total of $5,271,666 until it closed in theaters on October 18, 2001.

In an interview in 2010, Carey stated that she believed that the film's failure at the box office was largely due to the soundtrack's release date being September 11, 2001 (which was the same day as the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon).

Carey said, "Here's the thing that a lot of people don't know, that movie was released on September 11, 2001 - could there be a worse day for that movie to come out? [...] I don't even know that many people even saw the movie".

Critical Reception

"Glitter" was largely panned by critics.

It has a rating of 7% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 87 reviews with an average score of 2.8 out of 10.

The consensus states that "Glitter is a hodgepodge of movie cliches and bad acting that's sure to generate unintentional laughs. Unfortunately, the movie is not bad enough to be good".

The film also has a score of 14 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 23 reviews indicating "overwhelming dislike".

The Village Voice proclaimed, "For her part, Carey seems most concerned about keeping her lips tightly sealed like a kid with braces, and when she tries for an emotion—any emotion—she looks as if she's lost her car keys".

Roger Ebert spoke relatively well of Carey's individual performance saying, "her acting ranges from dutiful flirtatiousness to intense sincerity", but he ended with, "and above all, the film is lacking in joy. It never seems like it's fun to be Billie Frank".

Movie magazine "Fade In" put the film on their list of the "30 Worst Vanity Projects of All Time," saying:

"Intended as a vehicle to break Mariah Carey as a movie star, it instead became a year-long punch line. Carey might have a five-octave voice, but her performance as a burgeoning singer was strictly one-note and garnered her a Razzie for worst actress. Trotting out every hoary cliché about the music business imaginable, Glitter isn’t just one of the worst music-themed films ever — it’s one of the worst films ever made, period".

Stephen Holden of The New York Times said, "Glitter is mostly dross, an unintentionally hilarious compendium of time-tested cinematic clichés that illustrate the chasm between hopeful imitation and successful duplication".

Total Film magazine reviewed the film extremely negatively, awarding it just one star and stating, "It can't even scale heights of campy awfulness. This isn't so bad it's good, it's so bad it's actionable...An inept star vehicle that starts out desperately tedious and gets less interesting. Leaves you wishing the Lumiére brothers had said bollocks to cinema and gone down the pub".

The film is listed in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book "The Official Razzie Movie Guide" as one of the "100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made."

Carey herself has also openly dismissed and distanced herself from the film; she stated in 2002 that "[the film] started out as a concept with substance, but it ended up being geared to 10-year-olds".

In December of 2013, during a visit to the Bravo nightly series "Watch What Happens: Live", Carey revealed to host Andy Cohen that she considered Glitter the biggest regret of her career, calling it a "kitsch moment in the history of my life".

She told Cohen that the film wreaked havoc on her career, saying that "it was a horrible couple of years (after the film's release) and then I had to get my momentum back for people to let it go".

Carey also added that she wouldn't let anyone around her mention the film in conversation and that it was known as "the G word".


Group Category Recipient Result
22nd Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Director Vondie Curtis Hall Nominated
Worst Actress Mariah Carey Won
Worst Supporting Actor Max Beesley Nominated
Worst Picture 20th Century Fox Nominated
Worst Screen Couple Mariah Carey's cleavage Nominated
Worst Screenplay Kate Lanier, Cheryl L. West Nominated

Theatrical Trailer


Glitter (2001) Trailer