1. Never be afraid to let your audience know how to feel
Glitter‘s not a particularly subtle film or one that’s hard to follow, but you can never be too careful. So at selected low points in the plot, Mariah crashes in on the soundtrack with a song that opens with the line “Dear God, it’s all so tragic”. It first happens when child-Mariah is abandoned at an orphanage which, you know, is sad. And then later the same song illuminates an odd moment when Mariah stares at a drunk woman in the street. Helpful.
2. DRESS FOR THE OCCASION
To attend a glittering reception, Mariah’s Boyfriend Max Beesley decides to wear an unbuttoned shirt that shows off alarming amounts of chest. Even if you fancy him, it’s a bit much for a formal do. This wardrobe dissonance is only equalled later on when Mariah goes for a drive into the country in search of her long-lost mother, wearing an evening gown and heels.
3. Nobody smoked in the eighties
Glitter is set in the 80s. You know this not just because the background music is peppered with the likes of Blondie and Frankie Goes To Hollywood but because at one point someone actually says “This is the 80s!” for no very good reason. So why aren’t all the bars and clubs wreathed in a smoky fug, with people accidentally jabbing lit ends at each other on the dancefloor? It’s because the Hollywood rule of smoking applies, and so only the morally suspect character gets to smoke. And even he excuses himself from a room to do it. Honestly, in the 80s everyone smoked at their desks, on buses and at all times and places in between.
4. ADD PATHOS WITH AN ANIMAL
The cat that Mariah scoops up when storming out of her relationship with Her Boyfriend Max Beesley comes as a bit of a surprise. We’ve not glimpsed it before and it seems to be there solely to lend the scene a whole ‘You’d better believe I’m really leaving!’ vibe. And we never see it again after she’s arrived at her sassy friends’ apartment with Tiddles in one arm and not so much as a bag of kitty litter in the other. They probably strangled it.
5. Music transcends location
In one extraordinary scene towards the end, Mariah sits composing a melody (with her MOUTH) while across town her now Ex-Boyfriend Max Beesley starts bashing out a new song on the piano. They’re both in the same key, which is already a less than 5% chance fluke, but incredibly they also seem to come up with exactly the same tune. Later, Mariah lets herself in to Max’s pad, and has a look at his handwritten sheet music on the piano. It must be an incredible discovery. To find that a level of quantum entanglement so precise and unlikely as to border on magic has occurred is a scientific leap that changes everything for humanity. Mariah’s response is pictured.