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Rules Don't Apply (2016)

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The unconventional love story of an aspiring actress, her determined driver, and their boss, an eccentric billionaire named Howard Hughes.



(screenplay), (story by) | 1 more credit »
743 ( 63)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
TV Newsman #2
Vernon Scott
Gene Handsaker
T.V. Newsman #1
Dan Desmond ...
Gladwin Hill
Frank Forbes
Levar Mathis
Nadine Henly
Noah Dietrich
Colonel Willis
Karl J. Florine ...
Air Traffic Controller
Madisyn Ritland ...


An aspiring young actress (Lily Collins) and her ambitious young driver (Alden Ehrenreich) struggle hopefully with the absurd eccentricities of the wildly unpredictable billionaire, Howard Hughes, (Warren Beatty) for whom they work. It's Hollywood, 1958. Small town beauty queen, songwriter, and devout Baptist virgin Marla Mabrey (Collins), under contract to the infamous Howard Hughes (Beatty), arrives in Los Angeles. At the airport, she meets her driver Frank Forbes (Ehrenreich), who is engaged to be married to his 7th grade sweetheart and is a deeply religious Methodist. Their instant attraction not only puts their religious convictions to the test, but also defies Hughes' #1 rule: no employee is allowed to have any relationship whatsoever with a contract actress. Hughes' behavior intersects with Marla and Frank in very separate and unexpected ways, and as they are drawn deeper into his bizarre world, their values are challenged and their lives are changed. Written by 20th Century Fox

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual material including brief strong language, thematic elements, and drug references | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 November 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'Exception à la règle  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$26,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,589,625 (USA) (25 November 2016)


$3,647,836 (USA) (16 December 2016)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Warren Beatty first pitched a Howard Hughes biopic as early as 1973. He continually tried to get a film involving Hughes off the ground every year or two since then. One can say it's a film 40 years in the making, See more »


In one scene, Howard and Harlan discuss the fact that Marla is the only RKO contract girl with the initials MM. Later in the film, however, we learned that Mamie's last name also begins with the letter M. See more »


Frank Forbes: [from trailer] You're an exception. Rules don't apply to you.
See more »


Beyond the Sea
Lyrics by Jack Lawrence
Music by Charles Trenet and Albert Lasry
Original French Lyric to "La Mer" by Charles Trenet
Performed by Bobby Darin
Courtesy of Atco Records
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

Well...Maybe if the rules did apply to Warren Beatty, this would have been a better flick.
30 November 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When I first saw the trailer that announced Warren Beatty's "comeback" I was thinking at best I would find the movie above mediocre. I personally understand Beatty's stasis as Hollywood Royalty, but I myself am not the biggest fan of any of his films to feel for him like that.

I am a big fan of the film's topics, like Howard Hughes who I love both as Hollywood Royalty and his love of Aviation, two points that Beatty's movie hits upon greatly as he portrays an older version of Hughes, when his reputation turned from eccentric billionaire to complete wack job.

But Beatty's role is more of supporting one as the story centers around two people in Hughes life: Marla Mabrey ,a young scarlet with good Christian values who came to Hollywood and became one of Hughes contract girls, and Frank Forbes, Marla's driver, also with the same Christian values as Marla, that's being broken down by Tinsel Town.

It was met to be one of those quirky comedies about a quirky man, and it should have worked but it did not.

Well if you don't use it you could loose it, cause unlike other senor filmmakers, like Clint Eastwood and Woody Allen, who make film after film in order to keep the blood of creativity flowing, Beatty was living the good life having fun in the son.

Beatty may have taken a little too much time off however, and it does show in this below mediocre film.

Beatty's superstar black book could not help him, either. The parade of movie star cameos only pointed out how dull this movie is.

So, not nearly what I would expect from icon, Warren Beatty but I think I'm putting too much on a man that I don't personally have on a pedestal.

Makes all the right jabs but never hits the spot.


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