The life of Fanny Brice, famed comedienne and entertainer of the early 1900s. We see her rise to fame as a Ziegfeld girl, subsequent career, and her personal life, particularly her relationship with Nick Arnstein.
The often unlikely joint lives of Katie Morosky and Hubbell Gardiner from the late 1930s to the late 1950s is presented, over which time, they are, in no particular order, strangers, acquaintances, friends, best friends, lovers and adversaries. The unlikely nature of their relationship is due to their fundamental differences, where she is Jewish and passionate about her political activism both in political freedoms and Marxism to an extreme where she takes life a little too seriously, while he is the golden boy WASP, being afforded the privileges in life because of his background but who on the most part is able to capitalize on those privileges. Their lives are shown in four general time periods, in chronological order when they attend the same college, their time in New York City during WWII, his life as a Hollywood screenwriter post-war, and his life as a writer for a New York based live television show. It is during college that Hubbell finds his voice in life as a writer, and ...Written by
Actually, "The Way We Were" is both, and happily so. It's a classy romantic period drama about a 1940s wallflower in New York who blooms in love with her ex-jock boyfriend (an old acquaintance from their college days), and the movie overflows with star-power. None of today's celebrities have the kind of chemistry Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford bring to the screen, and Streisand in particular is so deeply into this character that the herky-jerky editing and breathless writing don't harm her or get in the way (the faults can easily be overlooked). When writer Redford adapts his novel into a screenplay and the couple marries and moves to Hollywood in the McCarthy-Blacklist era, her passion for politics gets them both in hot water; that's where this script hits a snag, with increasingly melodramatic plotting (Redford's affair with a former flame) and confusion in the character motivations (this primarily due to hasty, eleventh-hour editing). Still, it is a handsomely-produced movie with a great tearjerker ending and two fine stars who plow right through the nonsense and bumpy continuity. They transcend the make-believe surroundings, turning the picture into something really special, something to remember. ***1/2 from ****
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