I don't usually rent films this bad (predictable plot, laughable dialog, horrible music soundtrack, etc), but when I saw that my all-time favorite actor Jeremy Brett had a brief but memorable role in Shameless (originally titled Mad Dogs and Englishmen), I couldn't resist. It's a bizarre experience to witness an actor -- who so perfectly embodied the iconic Sherlock Holmes in the beloved Granada TV series -- appear in such an odd role of a drug-supplying sugar daddy. It's even odder to see a glimpse of him in a modern-day sexual scene with a young woman. Regardless, as usual, he stole the movie even if he was only barely in it. I only wished the director has used Brett to his fullest talents instead of as an aside eccentric.
A young Elizabeth Hurley makes a mediocre attempt to portray a bored little rich girl with drug problems and C. Thomas Howell does his best to seem sexy in a grunge biker kind of way. But Brett's booming voice, subtle expressions and dynamic presence wakes you up for just long enough to pay attention to his character. Once he disappears from the screen, you realize all too soon that the rest of the film is worthless. It takes a great actor to lift up a role from the muck, and I'm sorry to see that this was Brett's only chance to do a modern-day storyline from his usual historic epics before he passed away.
He briefly commented in an interview why he did the role, and soon realized the film was a disaster.
On Mad Dogs and Englishmen (1995)-- "I was mad to do it, but I wanted to show the world that I was still alive and I could do other things apart from Sherlock Holmes. I hope they don't release it..."
Shameless on Netflix
Shameless on imdb.com
Shameless movie screenshots