The life of Fanny Brice, famed comedienne and entertainer of the early 1900s. We see her rise to fame as a Ziegfield girl, subsequent career, and her personal life, particularly her relationship with Nick Arnstein.
Matchmaker Dolly Levi travels to Yonkers to find a partner for "half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder, convincing his niece, his niece's intended, and his two clerks to travel to New York City along the way.
The continuing story of Fanny Brice following that depicted in Funny Girl (1968) is presented. An established star on Broadway as a headliner for the Ziegfeld Follies, Fanny and the rest of the world are hitting difficult times entering into the 1930s. Her marriage to Nicky Arnstein, who she still loves is ending in divorce, and even Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. is having trouble coming up with money to continue to produce the Follies. Along comes brash nightclub owner, song lyricist and wannabe impresario Billy Rose, who says he can raise the money and has the material to produce his own revue, which he wants to star Fanny. Fanny is both attracted to and repelled by Billy because of his chutzpah, his stubbornness and knowing that underneath his outer veneer is the soul of a true hustler... much like she was when she was first starting out and much like she still is now. Through their professional trials and tribulations, they slowly start to fall for each other. But Fanny admits that Nicky ... Written by
Closing credits: Some of the characters and incidents portrayed and some of the names used herein are fictitious, and any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional. See more »
Fanny's black tennis shoes - worn for comic effect in the 1937 Aquacade number - aren't period-correct: it wasn't until 1949 that Converse decided to make the toe guard, laces and outer wraps on black "Chuck Taylors" a contrasting white. 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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