“Memories are like moonbeams – we do with them what we want,” says Bobby Darrin in Beyond the Sea, Kevin Spacey’s biopic of the ‘50s and ‘60s singer and actor, and it’s not the only time Lewis Colick’s script attempts to justify the ludicrous structural and thematic devices employed in this gimmicky recounting of the crooner’s life. Perplexingly structured as an autobiographical musical film-within-a-film, Spacey’s turgid debacle has the adult Darrin – famous for “Mack the Knife” and “Splish Splash” – regularly appear in his own childhood flashbacks, break into tepid song-and-dance routines, and engage his younger self (played with annoying cheeriness by William Ullrich) in conversation. The abundance of fantasy sequences, however, can’t hide the pointlessness of lavishing this much attention on a minor, long-since-forgotten lounge singer. Spacey dutifully depicts Darrin’s against-all-odds rise to fame, detailing his childhood struggles with rheumatic fever (doctors said he wouldn’t live past 15), his marriage to bland screen star Sandra Dee (Kate Bosworth), and his eventual comeback as a war-protesting pseudo-hippie before his untimely death in 1973. Yet instead of providing a single compelling reason to care about this once-famous celebrity, Spacey instead gussies up his tepid narrative with hokey symbolism like the recurring appearance of a wristwatch (because, you know, the physically frail singer’s “time is running out”). Worse, though, is the actor's beyond-creepy performance as Darrin. In an ill-conceived and futile effort to transform his 45-year-old self into the youthful Darrin (who died at age 37), Spacey coats his face with layers of thick make-up and sports a blocky prosthetic nose, but the result – such as when Darrin dances hip-to-hip with adoring teenage female fans – is not just unbelievable but severely disturbing. In the end, the frighteningly waxy star looks less like a young heartthrob than like an escapee from Madame Tussauds.