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1930s in New York. The famous singer Fanny Brice has divorced her first husband Nicky Arnstein. During the depression she has trouble finding work as an artist but meets Billy Rose, a newcomer who writes lyrics and owns his own nightclub. Written by
When Fanny Brice takes off, singing, in the yellow biplane, the plane is shown taking off from a runway clearly marked with Instrument Landing System (ILS) bars, which had not yet been developed in the late 1920's when the scene is set. See more »
[referring to having borrowed money from the mob to finance his show]
They're gonna build me into the West Side Highway.
That's the only good news I've heard tonight.
I'm not kidding.
Neither am I.
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Let's get the biggest question out of the way: Is FUNNY LADY as good as FUNNY GIRL? Of course not, but how many movies are? This is the lively follow-up to the 1968 masterpiece, that continues Fanny's (Streisand's) story after her divorce from Nick (Sharif) and her second marriage to producer Billy Rose (James Caan).
This film was a sure-fire hit back in '75. Made on a then-hefty budget of $7 million, FUNNY LADY went on to gross over $48 million in the United States alone. Streisand and Caan have a sparkling chemistry, and Sharif is charming. Also, Roddy McDowell is memorable in a supporting role as Bobby.
The screenplay, though familiar, is surprisingly crisp with some fresh comedy bits and a bittersweet conclusion. The music isn't anywhere near as good as the original's, but there are some nice numbers including the showstopper "How Lucky Can You Get?" and the soft "More Than You Know."
FUNNY LADY is a very good movie and great sequel. Although the original is the place to start, the Streisand-Caan chemistry will give fans a good fix. Enjoy!
My score: 7 out of 10.
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