A young woman goes home to New York after a long stay in Europe. Her former schoolmate introduces her to the decadence of New York and she ultimately falls in love with an older man who's a stand-in for her father, before tragedy strikes.
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January Wayne, the sheltered, much-loved daughter of a formerly successful Hollywood producer, goes home to New York after a lengthy stint in a Swiss hospital. Mike Wayne has fallen on hard times and decides to marry for money. January is an innocent young woman who searches for her place in the world. Pursued by her rich new stepmother's playboy of a cousin, she instead falls hard for a much older man, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who's a surrogate for her father, before tragedy strikes.
The number of Academy Awards (Oscars) that Mike Wayne (Kirk Douglas) had won was three. The amount of money that he had got for his most recent script development project was only a paltry US $7500. See more »
[January contemplates renting her own apartment]
I wouldn't ask Mike for the money. I have none of my own.
You'll work for Linda Riggs and Gloss magazine. With the circles you're traveling in, honey, you're an asset.
Linda, I can't write!
Neither can I! All you do is research. We have an entire staff of underpaid schmucks who do the writing. Oh, my dear, it's so lucky for you you've fallen into my hands. I'll teach you everything: writing, screwing, everything! Do you know what a man said to me ...
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Jacqueline Susann's glamorous, emotional, highly personal novels always lost something in their translation to the screen. Once Is Not Enough is another prime example. But it doesn't have the unintended hilarity of Valley of the Dolls, nor the compelling sleaziness of The Love Machine. The most outrageous and memorable elements of the book are excised completely, and the result is two hours of sudsy romantic nothingness. Without the pills, vitamin shots, wild sex (including an acid-fueled orgy), and disturbing violence that infused the compelling novel, the story is as flat as week-old ginger ale.
It's a slick production with an all-star cast, including the engaging Deborah Raffin as January, but the material is awful. The filmmakers' were obviously trying for a "respectable" approach, and the results are just plain boring. Case in point: Jackie provided the book with a surreal, escapist conclusion that's wholly amazing, whereas the movie just...ends. The book was about a naive girl trying to deal with life, and the movie is about--say it with me now!--LOOOOOOOVE! And it's like every other mediocre movie on the subject.
However, things are brightened by Brenda Vaccaro in her Golden Globe-winning, Oscar-nominated turn as uninhibited magazine editor Linda Riggs. She's the perfect realization of Susann's character (albeit with toned-down material) and provides a lot more spirit than this tepid production deserves. Her performance alone merits a viewing, but everything else is a daytime-TV-style mess. About as shocking as a trip to the supermarket--perhaps even less so.
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