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.
Rose and Gregory, both Columbia University professors meet when Rose's sister answers Gregory's "personals" ad. Several times burned, the handsome-but-boring Gregory believes that sex has ruined his life, and has deliberately set out to find and marry a woman with absolutely no sex appeal. Greg thinks he's found what he's looking for in Rose, a plain, plump English Lit professor who can't compete with her gorgeous mother and sister. More out of mutual admiration and respect than love, Greg and Rose marry. Greg assumes that Rose understands that he is not interested in a sexual relationship. He's mistaken, and their marriage is nearly destroyed when Rose tries to consummate their relationship. While Gregory is out of the country on a lecture tour, Rose diets and exercises to transform herself into a sexy siren in a last-ditch attempt to save her marriage. Written by
Anthony Bruce Gilpin <email@example.com>
When Rose is putting things in Greg's house she puts up a picture of her parents. This picture is of Barbra Streisand's real father and a picture of Lauren Bacall replaced Barbra's real mother. See more »
When Greg arrives at "new" Rose's house. See more »
Enjoyable romantic comedy; much better than it's reputation
Streisand's third directorial effort was greeted with surprisingly vicious reaction from both fans and critics, nearly all of whom immediately labeled it as an over-the-top vanity piece. It also had considerable difficulty at the box office. After opening with strong numbers, the $45 million budgeted film took a nose dive and did not recover. It ended up taking in $46 million domestically ($65 million worldwide), which was a respectable take, but far from the blockbuster status of films like A STAR IS BORN or THE PRINCE OF TIDES. When considering all of the above information, it's a bit surprising to discover that the film is nothing more than an entertaining and heart-felt romantic comedy. In hindsight, it's hard to understand why a such a harmless and light-weight film became such a lighting rod for scathing reviews and harsh comments.
While the storyline is predictable, the movie is actually very well-done with a brisk pace, compelling characters, and a witty screenplay. The finale may come down a bit heavy-handed on the "message" end, but the build-up is effective enough to merit this indulgence. Though MIRROR doesn't match her previous two directorial efforts, Streisand does once again pull off the various actress/producer/director roles with great efficiently, and this results in an effective star vehicle for the then-54-year-old film legend. Jeff Bridges received a lot of flack for his completely unselfconscious portrayal, but I admire how completely he throws himself into the silly role. Lauren Bacall is brilliantly biting and luminous in her turn as Streisand's mother, a role that earned her first (and so far only) Oscar nomination. Mimi Rogers is also fun as Streisand's slutty younger sister, as is Brenda Vaccaro as her self-deprecating best friend - although Pierce Brosnan is wasted as a gigolo-like suitor. All in all, an enjoyably fluffy film, undeserving of the criticism it routinely receives.
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