The David Cassidy Story (2000)
What do you do when making a biopic about a pop star known for a couple of musical earworms and not much else? If you’re the filmmakers responsible for The David Cassidy Story, the answer is quite simple. Keep playing those songs until the hapless viewer also can’t get them out of their heads.
Using the time-honoured favourite of opening with a significant concert, this biopic treats us to the first of many renditions of ‘I Think I Love You’ before flashing back 18 years. Here a young David Cassidy is casually informed by his father Jack that not only has he been divorced for the past two years, but that the child now has a step-mother, actress Shirley Jones. Having dispensed with such pleasantries, the biopic now flashes forward 12 years where teenaged David is once again reunited with his father. Eager to follow in the old-man’s footsteps and become an actor, David auditions for a role in a new television sitcom co-starring, coincidently, Shirley Jones. 'The Partridge Family' becomes a hit, and overnight David Cassidy is accorded a level of fame that his father could only dream of.
The ‘Star is Born’ dynamic played out between father and son gives a unique spin to this otherwise standard fare. Andrew Kavovit effectively mimics David Cassidy and Malcolm McDowell’s tendency to overact is well suited to his role as the manic Jack Cassidy. Yet the formulaic approach to the rest of Cassidy’s story is strictly by-the-numbers.
1 - Instant fame and fortune is tarnished by demanding work schedule and lack of privacy
2 - Loss of fame leads to drugs, alcohol and loss of fortune
3 - Support of faithful companions results in inevitable comeback.
David Cassidy executive produced this film and joins Kavovit on stage at the film’s conclusion for yet another performance of ‘I Think I Love You’.
Biopic explains the jump from Jack Cassidy’s death to Oliver North’s televised testimony as occurring in the span of one year. In fact, Cassidy died over 10 years before North’s appearance before Congress. As a result, Cassidy’s second marriage is not covered.
Scene recreations are limited to the set of 'The Partridge Family'. Passing reference to Shirley Jones’ role in Oklahoma is the only mention of the Cassidy family’s film career.