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This is a telling of the Jessica Savitch story, the newswoman who, in the 1970's, became the "First Woman Anchor". Sally/Tally is taken under the wing of Warren in a Miami newsroom and becomes a news star on TV. Despite her love for Warren, she takes the big chance and moves on to Philadelphia, where he follows to rescue her faltering career at the cost of his own - as she rises he falls. Written by
Bruce Cameron <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Michelle Pfeiffer turned down the chance to star in a (never produced) adventure film about female pirates - "Mistress of the Sea" - in order to star in this film. At the time, Pfeiffer had just given birth to her son and did not want to travel overseas. See more »
Tally, said to be reporting for WFIL, holds a Channel 7
microphone. WFIL was actually Channel 6. (Note: WFIL's call letter subsequently changed to WPVI, still channel 6 in Philadelphia.) See more »
Great romantic chemistry between Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer. *** out of ****
Director: Jon Avnet Running Time: 124 minutes Rated PG-13 (for some sensuality, language, and brief violence)
"Up Close & Personal" is one hundred percent a chick flick-but it is an effective one. With his new romantic drama director Jon Avnet has created a relevant, realistic, interesting behind-the-scenes look at news broadcasting, relationships, and journalism.
The story centers on a young energetic woman, named Sally Atwater, who, in desperation to find the job of her dreams, sends an application to be a television newscaster and work with the biggest names in the business. One of them is Warren Justice, played cleverly by Robert Redford, who lives an opposite life from the clumsy, tactless, and silly Sally. Of course she gets the job, falls in love with Warren, and experiences difficulties with her occupation as well as romance.
The film's first act is near perfect: it introduces the characters and guidelines, exactly what a good first act is supposed to do. We initially meet an opportunity starving underdog, the external conflict, then move on the romantic complications in the second act, the internal conflict. The second act also provides the gradual increase in romantic chemistry; for once we don't have a typical love at first sight story. Both problems are eventually resolved efficiently, but getting there is what contains the original felling.
What makes the characters so relateable in "Up Close & Personal" is the people who they are. Sally is a down-to-earth human being, blooming with cute charm and amiable qualities. She isn't presented as a glamorous, high stakes, important individual, but completely the opposite--perhaps a little too underdogish at times. Warren provides us with a stern opposite to Sally, forming tension. Their slow character development is totally appropriate, as well as effective, here.
The leading characters are played delicately by Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer; the right choice for each. Both pay special attention to the nitty gritty details within the characters. They are very careful not too overdue their characters and subdue the audience. This is not a deep picture, although the closing may catch a few unexpected viewers weeping, it's a light hearted, evenly presented, well-plotted romantic comedy-the filmmakers don't often pretend otherwise.
"Up Close & Personal" is not your typical love story. It is not slow moving, but full of colorful characters, interesting situations, focused point of views, and a suave atmosphere. It is a romantic comedy worth the watch time and your money.
Brought to you by Touchstone Pictures.
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