Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Commitments [MCA, 1991]
Just as it's impossible to make a credible flick about a rock star because no mere actor can play the role, it's impossible to make a credible flick about a bar band because no mere movie fan will sit through the music. So director Alan Parker cheated where novelist Roddy Doyle didn't. Aided by L.A. studio simulacra Dean Parks, Mitchell Froom, and Alex Acuņa, his home-grown white-soul cover specialists sacrifice idiosyncrasy for competence--they don't even risk the Dublin version of "Night Train" the novel turns on. Now that's what I call soulful--a cross between The Big Chill and The Blues Brothers. C+