Vocally gifted pre-teen orphan Billie Frank grows up in a Hollywood minute and becomes a 1980s New York City nightclub dancer and pop backup singer (the doe-eyed Mariah Carey). A famed DJ impressed by her work (Max Beesley dressed in black when not barechested) becomes her Svengali. He clashes with an independent record producer (the talented but misused Terrence Howard) and an A-list record company for control of Billie’s career while her two closest friends and dancing partners (Da Brat and Tia Texanda) are relegated to the sidelines. This rags-to-riches story clumsily addresses Billie’s biracial roots, her failed love life, the exploitation of her bodacious body and Big Business’s conceptualization of her image. Director Vondie Curtis-Hall (Gridlock’d) tries to invigorate the bland script by careening his cameras throughout the streets and club life of Manhattan while Carey’s glorious voice is drowned out by sheets of off-key cliches.