This movie has it all: love, friendship, the fight for self-esteem, parental battles and...female body-building?
In "Getting Physical", a put-upon and particularly chubby young woman (Paul, who's probably never had a chubby day in her life), gets tired of her life of ridicule and misery, and decides to get her life and health back together by (how else?) lifting weights and training to be a professional body-builder.
Under the tutelage of old pro Nadine Cawley (Bergman, still as sinewy as she was in "All that Jazz"), Paul pumps and primps and becomes the belle of the barbell set, so to speak. Much to the chagrin of her boyfriend (Naughton, long gone from his Dr. Pepper days), she shows more muscle on the beach than he, which upsets his fragile male ego to no end. Then, there's her hard-to-please father (Webber? Puh-leeze....) who can't understand why the lady looks like a dude.
All of this, of course, leads to a final competition where Paul poses alongside real-life champs like Lyon, Csencsits and McLish (always a pleasure to see her). But consider, would a woman with Paul's build (no matter how hard she's been training) be able to stand up alongside pros like these and not get laughed off the stage? Not likely, but thank goodness there's always TV.
How does the competition end? Does Paul make her dreams come true? Does Naughton finally accept his buff babe? Does Daddy think his little girl is good enough? You seen many TV movies lately? You have to ask?
Five stars. As noted before, the posing scenes come off best, and could make a movie all by themselves. But, if the video store is out of "Pumping Iron II: The Women", try to find "Getting Physical"...and fast forward it to near the end.
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