starring Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, John Goodman, Bob Hoskins
screenplay by Lewis Colick and Kevin Spacey
directed by Kevin Spacey
by Walter Chaw In Beyond the Sea, Kevin Spacey as Bobby Darin talks to the ghost of his kid self, a pint-sized Virgil leading Spacey's decrepit Dante into the hell of vanity projects. It's a flick that apes All that Jazz the way De-Lovely aped All that Jazz (that is: sickly, with a bad limp), with an aged Darin looking back on his life as though it were all a giant movie set. "Ain't he too old to play Bobby Darin?" a reporter in the film asks while Bobby Darin directs his own fictional auto-biopic. "He was born to play Bobby Darin!" responds an angry Bob Hoskins as Bobby Darin's father, who, one part Brooklyn hood and one part Russian bear, acts as the artist surrogate trying to pre-empt the chief criticism most will have of this creepy exercise in flaccid masturbation. Truth is, Beyond the Sea is the Kevin Spacey story without as much closeted homosexuality and just the same amount of delusions of grandeur and aspirations towards artistic martyrdom. It lacks passion and joy, replacing them both with something that smells a lot like mid-life crisis.