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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
The scene where Fanny's character is in the train station was filmed in the old Oakland Central Station in downtown Oakland, California, which at the time of filming, was still in use by Amtrak and still looked remarkably like it did in the 40's. The Central Station was shut down after sustaining damage during the the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, although the building still stands and can be enjoyed from the exterior for its Beaux-Arts architectural styling, and glimpses of what is left of the inside splendor can still be had by looking through the windows. See more »
In the "How Lucky Can You Get?" musical number, when Fanny is turning on the stage lights she is clearly not singing, although Streisand's singing voice is heard on the soundtrack. See more »
[at her first meeting Billy Rose]
If we hate the same people and you get your suit cleaned, it's a match.
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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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