From the Duets film clip, the marquee reads “Super Karoake 5,000 Dollar Prize Tonight” as Ricky (Huey Lewis) invites his daughter Liv (Gwyneth Paltrow) on stage. Liv smiles and then walks to the stage. Billy, a man she met on the circuit, (Scott Speedman) beams.
At the recording studio, Lewis reads over the sheet music, rhearsing with the producer. Paltrow holds her coffee cup, singing along.
On stage, Liv stares at her father, a deer-in-headlights expression on her face. She closes her eyes and begins to sing.
Back at the recording studio, Paltrow puts the sheet music in front of the camera and laughs.
Liv runs into Billy and then turns around to look at him. At the recording studio, Paltrow closes her eyes, gesturing with her hands.
In white tights and a long white sweater, Liv walks the down the stairs, frowning. Ricky gazes at the lights of Las Vegas. Lewis mimes playing a guitar and Paltrow laughs. Liv and Billy have a flirty conversation. Liv folds her arms by her chest, biting her lip. Liv and Ricky exchange confused glances.
Lewis records his part at the studio, keeping his voice close to the microphone as possible.
A man punches Ricky. Liv and Billy get up from their seats, concerned. Liv breaks a chair over the man.
Paltrow reads over the sheet music. Lewis gives her some pointers as they go over the music.
Liv glares at Ricky then walks away in a huff. While on stage, Ricky points to his Liv, proud. A car leaps over a bridge and lands on the road. Ricky, shirtless, opens the door and it’s Liv, grinning. She hops onto his bed. Ricky rubs his temples. He leaves the hotel room, shutting the door behind him as Liv waits.
Lewis points to Paltrow, exclaiming she hit the note.
Billy picks Liv up. He’s surprised to see her with Ricky. Liv and Ricky continue to sing on stage.
In Duets, the socially awkward Liv has a crush on an older man, a regular she sees at the karoake bars. However, Billy, a young man she met on the circuit has also caught her eye. She’s torn between the two. She chooses Ricky and Billy, now just a friend, concedes.
Despite the song choice and film clips provided, it’s not the actual plot. Other than some flirting with Billy, Liv’s romance with him is as though they went out on a few dates and decided to be friends. Numerous characters are eliminated which leaves certain scenes out of context, like a car leaping over a bridge.
In the studio, though, Huey Lewis talks with the producer, asking questions about specific notes. Gwyneth Paltrow dances and puts a piece of paper in front of the camera. She sings along with Lewis as they practice, not really taking it seriously. They go over some parts several times until Lewis says that she has it.
Lewis records, headphones over his ears, keeping his body still and mouth close to the microphone to pick up every sound. Focused and in character, he performs as Ricky would. Paltrow, though, unprepared and insecure closes her eyes as she concentrates on hitting the notes and remembers it by gesturing. After several takes and some sharp criticism from the producer, she realized she has to work.
Director: N/A Year: 2000