Wednesday, August 10, 2011
ISN'T SHE GREAT (2000)
Directed By: Andrew Bergman
Written By: Paul Rudnick
Cinematography By: Karl Winter Lindenlaub
Editor: Barry Malkin
Cast: Bette Midler, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, David Hyde Pierce, Amanda Peet, John Cleese, John Larroquette, Jeffrey Ross, Christopher McDonald, Frank Vincent
I admit i am a unabashed Bette Midler fan she is a star in the more classic mold by being able to do it all act, Sing and dance. But breaks all the molds for her boldness. She is a star with a huge personality that usally comes through in her performances of film and stage. She was the perfect choice for the role of Jaqueline Susann who was also a bold personality and was famous for her so called raunch and daring writing gossipy lurid books of the underbelly involving movie stars and the rich. When the public acted like they weren't interested but were. She wrote the book VALLEY OF THE DOLLS.
The problem withtthe film is that it goes for a studio clean version of a biography of her which takes place mainly after her maiirage to her husband edgar. The film paints the moive ultimately as a love story between the two of them he sees an isatiable spirit in her though she has no clear talent and he supports and represents her until they find her particular niche. I found that part of the film touching. Unfortunately that is not how exactly it was in life. She Cheated on him Constantly with men and women. He eventually commited suicide.
This film is made more in the style of her books campy and kistchy. It is more like a sitcom made into a feature length movie where the characters are more exactly like that characters instead of human beings with real feelings. Some are fun most are just straight men for the jokes. Allofthe film and it's characters and situations revolve around her. She just looms that grand in the film.
Bette midler is more then up for the task, The supporting actors are too. David Hyde Pierce doing what he does best playing the pent up, uppercrust Privledged straight man who must be made to change and have a mindset more like her, Johnclesse in a cameo as the Book Publisher, Stockard Channing as the aging Actress diva friend and Nathan lane as her husband/Agent Edgar.
It's a fun film that would have been better served had it been made in the 80's. Here it's admirable but out of date. Like a fun Tv-Movie where you marvel at the art direction and wit of one liners but that's it. Maybe it would have been better as a stage show (Especially Considering it was written by a noted playwrite) with all these aging professionals at work who show they still ahveit and can do it better then anyone half there age.
It's fun while watching the characters and society at large react to the differing culture of the 50's making way for the crazy 60's and 70's.
When this film came out i was thrilled for it to come out and to see it. I believe i went to see in in the theater about 3 times as i was working at a movie theater that was playing it. I even loved the retro soundtrack which was written by Burt Bacharach and all of the songs sung by Dionne Warwick. I eventually got the soundtrack as it is very uplifting and feel good.
I sugest this film as a satisfying rental.