Up Close & Personal (1996)
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Sally Atwater is fresh from a small-town trailer park when she arrives in Miami, overdressed and overeager to be the weather girl. He debut is disastrous but her boss, experienced newsman, Warren Justice, admires her spunk and takes her under his wing, making her an on air reporter. As Justice moulds Sally into one of the county's most sought after journalists, the pair fall in love, only to have their relationship threatened by the very success they have created.
Here is one of the great romance movies I have seen in a longtime. I love the way that the main stars first meet and how their relationship develops. By the time that Tally is a great journalist, what is more important than her career, is the man that she loves that being Warren Justice. The screenplay for this movie was beautifully written by John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion. I love how the two main stars are able to fall in love, but at the same time, able to do what they do as a career. Sure it might take a little while for the movie to show that this is important, but I feel that the time needed to be taken, so that both Tally and Warren fall deeply in love.
The director of 'Up close and personal' was Jon Avnet, who has been a part of some great movies such as that of 'Risky Business', 'When a man loves a woman', and the 'Mighty ducks' trilogy. In this movie, I love the way that Avnet shows Tally Atwater at the start, to be someone who is a struggler, ignored and made fun of. Then to make her character be so vital and important in the whole make-up of the film, was great. This I believe is the good work of Avnet and makes the movie all the more compelling. I also like the world that Avnet has created for the film, that of the pressurised, TV journalism environment.
The stars of the movie are two of Hollywood's better known actors in Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer. The pair have a good chemistry in this movie, with the way that they fall in love very believable. I also like how Redford's character, Warren, refers to Tally at the start of the film, saying that 'she eats the camera'. This scene shows that Warren not only likes Tally as a journo, but as a woman as well. I also like the way that Pfeiffer appears in this film. She looks very much like a reporter does on the news and it is in her appearance that this needed to be so definite.
The supporting cast of 'Up close and personal' is a pretty good one. I like Marcia McGrath (Stockard Channing), who is the tough as nails anchor girl, who is pushed out of her position by the rising career of Tally Atwater. She treats Tally pretty bad in the film, if the truth be known. I also like Joanna Kennelly (Kate Nelligan), who we find out is one of Warren's former wives. She is one of the reasons why Warren has had a turbulent journalism career. Do not discount the little role taken on by Tally's cameraman Ned Jackson (Glenn Plumber). He is an incredibly brave cameraman, who admires Tally for the work that she does. Trust me I would not have liked doing the camera work that he was doing in the prison.
'Up close and personal' might not have the greatest of sound tracks, but it does have one song that I really like. That song is 'Because you loved me' sung by Celine Dion. It is a song which was used well in the film and its lyrics suit this movie beautifully. How great a song this was, made me want to watch the film all the more. By the way, there is one scene in the movie that shows Pfeiffer's character singing 'The impossible dream' at an empty football stadium in front of Warren. All I will say about this is that Pfeiffer should stick to the acting game, because she does not sing that well.
This movie, is such 'a good drama love story', because it shows how tough the 'TV journalism' area can be, and does not shrug away from showing how difficult and dangerous such a career can be (the prison scene is wonderfully shot and one of the great parts of the film). I also like how this movie concludes, and I am not afraid to admit that it has gotten me upset both times I have watched it. You will notice, that I say that Sally Atwater's name is actually 'Tally'. I will not reveal how this change happens, just to say that I like it. I believe it was placed in the story for a bit of fun. But I am not so sure I would like my name changed for my chosen career. Would you?
CMRS gives 'Up close and personal': 4 (Very Good Film)
I recommend it to everyone who crazy about romantic movies. And be ready to feel all spectrum of feelings with positive emotions.
Robert Redford is good at playing the veteran newsman teaching Michelle Peiffer (Savitch) the business. He does more than that, of course, being her lover and then her husband. With Redford, you know you are going to get a dose of Liberal politics in the mix and in here, it's let's-feel-sorry-for-the-prison inmates. The preaching is "they are in jail to be rehabilitated." Well, that sounds nice but whatever happened to jail as a form of punishment for someone committing a crime against someone else? Liberals - like Redford, who is never shy about giving us his views in movies like this - sometimes seem to have more compassion for thugs than they do victims of crime! He goes so far in here as to preach that if you don't treat prisoners with kid gloves you deserve to have a riot on your hands.
Outside of all that heavy-handedness, you get a nice romance with solid acting all around, not only from the two leads but the supporting case with people like Stockarrd Channnng, Joe Mantegna, Kate Nelligan, Glen Plummer and James Rebhorn.
In reading up on the film, I learned it was supposed to be based on the life of Jessica Savitch, a newscaster I remember quite well, although I forgot how she died. I have a feeling the producers/director were in a damned if we do, and damned if we don't situation here. They were inspired by Savitch's life story, but wanted to make a love story, instead. If they just told the love story, and weren't open about the Savitch angle, they'd be criticized. If they made it clear the story came from the Savitch bio, but didn't make it a documentary/fiction story, they'd be criticized as well. They should have just shut up about where the inspiration for the story came from.
I really liked the first third of this film and the last third of this film. The first third was great because it told the story of a wannabe reporter coming up through the ranks to become a respected reporter...led by her mentor (Robert Redford)...and throw in a bit of romance. The last third of the film was great because it was more about what hard-hitting journalism can be. The problem is the middle third where the couple (Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer) seem to fart around in terms of getting a relationship going. I found that middle third to be rather boring. Were they going to go forward as a couple? Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no. Jeez! Hence the "66%".
Now there are a lot of people who dislike the ending -- if it's a romantic film, why kill of a main character? If its a hard hitting story about the news, why lean so heavily into romance?
Perhaps the problem with the film is that when you begin watching it you think it's one thing -- a romance story with some humor...but then it turns deadly serious.
Another thing that would have helped would have been some timelines, particularly in Tally's time in Miami. It was difficult to get a sense of how long it took her to go from desk work, to weather, to reporter, etc.
Redford's acting here is superb. Redford, who was pretty much always at the top of his game, was here, also. Michelle Pfeiffer is very good, and the problem with her character seemed to be a petty attitude...but after all, she didn't write the script or direct the film. This is very much Redford's and Pfeiffer's film. Sure there are supporting actors, but none that have memorable roles, although their performances are all very good.
It seems as if this film suffered from a bit of an identity confusion. But I still liked it. I just didn't love it.
"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.
Sally/Tally Atwater fakes her way into a job and a TV station and has her hopes set up high in becoming a journalist when she meets Warren Justice, who begins teaching her what journalism is truly all about and slowly the two start falling in love, but all things end...
This movie is about love, work and everything else in between. A woman and a man both workaholics can't stand to be away from the thrill of their work and yet can't stand to be away from each other either and then one of them goes and makes a fatal mistake.
10/10 and I hated the ending just for the record, but it was the only one that would suit this film. Whoever believes in fairy tales this is a movie you should stay away from...
To be fair, Nelligan and Redford have a pretty good scene together. They were married awhile ago and their chemistry and familiarity with one another seems genuine. When she says "I was seven years and three dozen asses ago...", you get a nice sense of their history.
There is also a pretty good scene in a jail - Pfeiffer is doing a story and a riot breaks out. Since this has nothing to do with the rest of the movie, it works well. But when a teary Michelle emerges without a smudge on her white blouse, the movie quickly returns to its sorry state.
To start at the beginning..Pfeiffer gets a job at a Miami television station. She is over-dressed, awkward and clumsy. He is dismissive, sexist and condescending. Naturally they are supposed to be together, its cinema law.
She moves up the television chain of command, for reasons that are never spelled out. Eventually she is a reporter, and with his infinite help and wisdom, a good one. So good, in fact, that she is soon off to Philadelphia (and the movie doesn't even get off a good joke at that city's expense!) but since she is without her MAN, she is faltering. He comes to Her Rescue. This is so stupid, so incredibly insulting to every woman that ever had a career and an ambition, that its amazing Redford and Pfeiffer allowed themselves to be a party to such drivel. No one loves Michelle Pfeiffer more than I do but its getting sickening having to tolerate her awful career choices. When she is sitting with Channing in one scene, Stockard might as well say, "WHY did you agree to do 'Grease 2'? Even I turned it down and I was Rizzo in the first one"!
And they all have these RIDICULOUS NAMES! Tally Atwater? Warren Justice? The best of all -- BUCKY TERRANOVA? Who thought these up, Vince McMahon? Jackie Collins?
Pfeiffer wins one prize for this - most makeovers in a two hour movie. Every time you turn around, she's dyed another color. No, wait..Shirley MacLaine in "What a Way To Go!" would win that. Sorry, TALLY. Ugh. 3/10.
Ultimately, I could have summed up the film with "WHO CARES?!", but IMDb doesn't allow such succinct reviews.
Michele and Robert, they are good actors with very natural played. And they can act to be anyone, that's what I very appreciate about actors work.
CAN HOLLYWOOD MAKE THE GOOD AND TOUCHING FILM LIKE "UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL" again? (EVEN I DOUBT IT)
Hankies at the ready for this one though as the climax towards the end of the film will have you in tears.