Starring the great David Carradine as a down-and-out country singer who gets a second chance with a predatory music industry, this fittingly-obscure film bears a strikingly close resemblance to the far superior "Crazy Heart". But it's no fault of Carradine, nor co-star Mariel Hemingway, who, like Carradine, does her best with the awful script and wooden dialogue.
The supporting characters in "American Reel" are, in almost every instance, total stereotypes, and their roles are little more than predictable and even over-the-top cartoonish. Sure, the record industry is, more often than not, shady and corporate. This film doesn't so much expose any truths or tell a tale with any level of subtlety. Instead, it hits the viewer over the head with a rubber mallet. It's insulting to the viewer, and to the actors themselves. It seems a shame that Carradine and Hemingway's talents were squandered here. No, thanks.