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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Isn't She Great (2000)

A struggling actress (Bette Midler) is getting nowhere in her acting career so her husband (Nathan Lane) prods her to write a novel about what she knows best ..... the seamy side of show business. Not only must she deal with the numerous turn downs from the more prestigious publishing houses but she must deal with the institutionalization of her autistic son and breast cancer. But she finally gets her novel published and it becomes the biggest selling book of all time ..... VALLEY OF THE DOLLS! This is a glossy, highly fictionalized movie biography on DOLLS' author Jacqueline Susann re-imagined as a comedy with drama around the edges. Susann's real life, which contained as much lurid melodrama as her books, would make a fascinating movie but this isn't it. The movie skips over a lot of things like her first book which sold well and makes it seem that DOLLS was her first published book. Midler doesn't play the ambitious hard edged Susann, she seems content to play Susann as yet another version of her "Divine Miss M" persona. Lane fares somewhat better but best of all is Stockard Channing as Susann's glamorous actress friend. There's a nice score by Burt Bacharach though. Directed by Andrew Bergman. With John Cleese, David Hyde Pierce, John Larroquette, Amanda Peet and Christopher McDonald.

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