The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) Poster

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Weeper for Just the Right Movie Night
padres0126 September 2011
OK. If you accept this movie for what it is, it's actually pretty entertaining. It's a Cinderella story for middle-aged folks. I won't recap the film. That's not my job. I'm here only to give you my impressions on the watchability and impact of this movie. If you love Barbra Streisand (and I do) and you love Jeff Bridges (and I do), you will love this romantic comedy. Both are at their funny, witty, comedic best in this film. Mimi Rogers is gorgeous as Bab's sister. (Oddly, Netflix has her mistakenly identified as Fran Drescher on its website.) Lauren Bacall is stunningly beautiful - still. Overall, the film has a lot of heart. What I love about Streisand is that she knows her weaknesses and her strengths, and plays both up to much effect in this film, which she directed and, I believe, co-wrote. This is a quintessential "chick flick," the kind you enjoy on a raining Sunday night with a big bowl of popcorn. If you are in just the right mood for a film that shamelessly exploits your feelings about romance, this one is it. Enjoy.
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Barbra Makes Cast Shine
zbornak19 July 2000
Let me just say that despite mixed reviews and public jesting, if it weren't Barbra Streisand that made this movie and it were someone else, no one would make fun of it like they do. Everyone just likes to pick on Barbra. But this movie is actually good! This film, about a man (Jeff Bridges) who goes looking for a nonsexual relationship and finds it with a middle-aged dateless professor (Barbra Streisand). As the two leads, these actors shine immensely! Mimi Rogers and Brenda Vaccaro are equally good in their supporting and often comic roles, as is George Segal. But the star of this movie, I must say, is Lauren Bacall as Streisand's beautifully aging mother. Bacall, who is not really known for her comedy roles, took the role and ran with it, making her character hilarious at times, heart-pouring at others. She is terrific! As for the actual storyline of the movie, it is somewhat predictable in its final outcome, but the routes it takes along the way are always interesting. The music is terrific; who doesn't like Luciano Pavarotti's "Nessun Dorma"? A very delightful romantic comedy!
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Mirrors, Puccini, and the triumphant Ugly Duckling
theowinthrop6 November 2005
This was the third film directed and starring Barbara Streisand. It did get a whopping big two Oscar nominations for the best song and for best supporting actress (Lauren Bacall). Neither won. Ms Streisand hit the Oscar gold with best actress for FUNNY GIRL, and since then has met with indifferent success - and almost none with her three directed films.

This film is a modern spin on Hans Christian Anderson's tale of the Ugly Duckling. She is the "homely" daughter of Lauren Bacall, a beauty specialist, and her younger sister Mimi Rogers is also beautiful to look at. But Mimi has had two unsuccessful marriages, and is seen at the start having her third marriage - this time to Pierce Brosnan, who initially showed an interest in Streisand.

Throughout her entire life she has been having a low esteem problem regarding sex. She is seen breaking dates with Austin Pendleton. We learn her closest friend is Brenda Vaccaro, who has also failed to do well with men. Yet she is a highly articulate and intelligent English professor at Columbia University.

It is Columbia University where the other part of this equation is found. Jeff Bridges is a leading figure in the math department. He is finding it difficult to recover from repeated failed sexual relationships. So he puts an add in the newspaper requesting to meet a suitable mate. Mimi Rogers notices the ad, and puts in a response for Streisand. After watching Streisand handle her English class (far better than Bridges can handle his calculus course), he calls her up and sets up a date.

Bridges has worked out a perfect solution for his sexual failures. He will marry a woman he can be chummy with, who is intelligent, and who will not require a sexual relationship (and who is so plain looking as not to invite his own sexual responses). Streisand follows this, not knowing to be insulted or to go along. Finally she agrees to go along with it, and they get married. But can they maintain this palsy-walsy pseudo-marriage, or it doomed?

Bacall gave a terrific performance as an apparently bitchy woman, who likes to show up her younger daughter (even at the latter's wedding), but who turns out to be more caring and wise than we first suspected. Brosnan gives a good performance, but it could have used a few filler scenes to broaden his character's history (we don't know how he and Streisand first met, nor how Rogers stole him away). Bridges is wonderful as a variant on the absent minded professor, who can't see the trees for the forest he wishes to plant. George Segal (who co-starred with Streisand in THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT two decades earlier) is good as Bridges' friend who sees too clearly how wrong-headed the experiment is. Rogers does well as a nymphomaniac who does not mind marriage as a badge of sexual success, but cannot stand the actual reason for that institution.

In the end Streisand does triumph - and she does hear Puccini in her ecstasy (TURANDOT by the way). You see, you are supposed to "hear" great romantic music - especially Puccini - when achieving sexual climax.

The film's title is a reminder of the whole issue of surface appearance that bedevils Streisand's ugly duckling (and several other characters too). It is a reminder of dressing up for dating, of looking attractive to men, and of the fact that we face ourselves in the mirror - and so do we face ourselves honestly or lying to ourselves? But watch carefully - in many scenes Streisand will shoot the scene from the point of view of the mirror. It becomes an all encompassing theme in this wonderful film.
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I can tell you: Wonderful! On the other hand...
DomiMMHS29 December 1998
The mirror has two faces: Barbra Streisand and ... surprise! ... Barbra Streisand! More explicit: the funny Barbra Streisand and the divine Barbra Streisand. Well, this miraculous metamorphosis is of course kind of disgusting and I wouldn't be the first person to argue that Barbra Streisand has a tendency to fancy herself pretty much (and I myself was already able to tell so from the unnecessarily long ending of "The Prince of Tides" - a very good movie). But as annoying as it may sometimes be, this is an extremely well-done and multi-faceted movie. Let me try to tell you, why I voted "7".

It starts rather mediocre when Streisand and Jeff Bridges get to know each other, talk some silly stuff and behave like little children. From time to time it gives a number of very good lines to Lauren Bacall, who is perfect as Streisand's mother. By the time Streisand and Bridges get married you are tempted to say: "Yes, very nice, but it's crap actually, isn't it?" But you won't think of saying that in the end.

The movie is a romantic comedy - containing a couple of cliches, fine - but with a new, non-cliche structure. This is no kitsch, not at all, oh no! Instead, it's made up of very good lines and very truthful moments. These are connected in a way that makes our emotion rise but leaves us unable to tell which words, which gestures made it rise. How come? The romance doesn't develop in the way we would expect it and have seen it many times before, no, this romantic comedy goes the long way round: First there is only a small deal of attraction, then there is previously unknown disillusionment - a black hole almost - and then love enters the stage. The final romantic scene fits into romantic comedy conventions, but it also fits into the picture and Streisand and Bridges deserve it. What a wonderful movie!

Basically Barbra Streisand is a good actress, but she loves exaggerating. She is able to manage difficult scenes, but she tries to be funny where being funny can't work and sometimes she's just hopping through the scene like a twittering sparrow instead of performing the emotions required for that scene. And after her metamorphosis she's more interested in her make-up than in her character.

Lauren Bacall plays a mean, self-addicted and vain old beast with a heart and a vulnerable soul. The scene where mother and daughter talk openly in the kitchen is wonderful. Even Pierce Brosnan is better than I would have expected.

Finally, the movie shows us the great versatility of Jeff Bridges: you've never seen him so very soft before (rude as he was in "The Fabulous Baker Boys", cool in "Nadine" or smooth and evil in "Jagged Edge"). However, he is exaggerating, too: which man can act this untruthful and affected?! In the scenes from Streisand's and his marriage his character is almost eerie - may this be good or bad for the movie...
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A wonderful film!
rdvinct24 March 2003
The Mirror Has Two Faces is one of Barbra's finest works. In this movie you have two people,(Barbra and Jeff Bridges),who are both weary and skeptical about "true" love, but both have different outlooks on it. Barbra is optimistic and hopeful, while Jeff Bridges feels that the only way to make a relationship last is to completely take the sex out of it and have a loving friendship only,(one based strictly on companionship). The movie explores both of the main characters inner fears and inner struggles in a way that, not unless you're not human, you can certainly relate with. For instance: In reality, Barbra's character felt inwardly about herself that she wasn't good enough....wasn't attractive enough. She liked the idea of marrying Jeff Bridges character under the premise of strictly a loving companionship only because her character feels...well, my goodness! Here's a really handsome man that really likes me and likes being with me. He wants to take sex out of the equation, but...that's okay. It's NOT what I really want, but I'll "SETTLE". On the other hand, Jeff Bridges character, Gregory, feels that with all his failed relationships of the past, that if he takes sex out of the picture, that maybe, just maybe, it'll last. He wants a true, loving, one on one relationship with another woman but he really doesn't want to have it be without physical love either. But...out of fear that it wont last, he decides that he's got to take the physical part out of it, even though deep down inside, he doesn't really want that. So...he "SETTLES" as well. In reality, they have both truly fallen in love with each other, but both are trying to abide by what they both agreed to; a loving friendship only, with absolutely no physical love. This creates many, many tense situations between them that end up creating very funny scenes and lines. Theres a scene right after they get married and the two of them are in their home, all done for the day unpacking and getting settled. Jeff Bridge's character says to Barbra's..."So! What do you want to do now?" Barbra, innocently meaning to suggest they both go to sleep, shrugs her shoulders and says..."Go to bed". Jeff's eyes get all nervous looking and he starts having difficulty breathing. Barbra's character replies..."No! I mean, to sleep, that is! One goes to sleep!" A little later on she is unloading all this frustration and tension to her sister Claire in a phone conversation. She says..."I don't know how to ask for it Claire!" Meaning sex. She continues to say..."Sometimes we're so "polite" to each other I feel like we're two roommates living in a charm school!" Her sister replies..."Just give him a "look" that makes him "know" you want sex!" Barbra's character then replies..."I tried that once. He thought I had something in my eye!" Yes indeed, there are many great moments in this film. In the end, what's great is that both of the characters understand that what they did was "settle", and "settling", especially with something as important as true love is never a good idea. But more importantly, they learn that in the end, anything truly worthwhile, sometimes you have to take risks for. Unless you are really that jaded, you can not leave this movie by it's end without feeling,(even if just a little),good! The supporting cast is great, including Lauren Bacall, Brenda Vacaro and George Segal. A wonderful film. Truly one of Barbra's finest.
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For Streisand fans only; a no-holds-barred exercise in Ego
lemon_magic30 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I know other people think highly of Streisand's skills as a singer and an actress, and I understand their reasons for feeling that way. In fact, I agree she was excellent in "Hello Dolly", "What's Up, Doc?" and "Funny Girl", I agree that she can belt out a Broadway show tune with the best of them, and I agree that she has enormous charisma.

But I am not a member of the Streisand-As-Diva Fan Club. As great as her talents are, her taste sucks, and she consistently overestimates and overreaches her talents in pursuit of really cheesy and juvenile self gratification. So we get misfires like "Yentl" (which Isaac Bashevis Singer hated), and we also get bloated exercises in ego,like her remake of "A Star Is Born", "The Prince Of Tides", "Nuts", and this piece of fish-wrap.

The problem with this movie isn't in her performance, which is good in the service of the script. The problem is in the writing, and it's the same problem with every other recent Streisand film: she wants to be viewed as some kind of beauty queen and sexual powerhouse, and apparently she also wants to be seen as 20-30 years younger than she actually is. But with her face and features, that just isn't going to happen. Well, if your definition of sexual powerhouse includes overwhelming belief in and seriousness about your talents (ie, Diva-like self-importance), maybe she could skate by there. But no one will ever include her in a Playboy calendar or a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Accept it, Barbra, and move on.

But the goldarn movie just won't let it rest. In every scene, even the ones where Streisand is supposed to be a dowdy ugly duckling, her skin is perfect, her makeup is perfect, the lighting on her is perfect, and her every line and delivery is calculated to frame her in the most sympathetic and flattering way possible. In every scene she's in (and Streisand is front and center 90% of the time), Streisand the director is shoving herself in the viewers' face, saying "Aren't I sexy? Aren't I precious? Aren't I actually the most winsome, lovable, attractive young thing you ever saw, even if the script says I can't get a man - yet?'

As Joe Queenan puts it, her entire 'transformation' from ugly duckling to desirable goddess "consists of losing six ounces, getting a frizzy poodle haircut, and buying a cheap dress." She looks exactly the same as before, only now Jeff Bridges' character is supposed to be stunned by her desirability and beg to take her back. And let's face it, even in the persona of a nerd math professor, Jeff is still one of the sexiest leading men of the last two decades. So this is about on the same level as me fantasizing about Dominique Swain begging me to take her back after I buy some new suits and lose an inch off my waist on a low carb diet.

And in response to Jeff begging to get back together, Streisand the director has Streisand the actress deliver an "I desired you once, but now I've moved beyond you" oration that is a patent by-the-numbers REVENGE fantasy put down; it's the speech composed in the fantasies of any girl who was ever dumped by any boy in the history of romance. Hell, it's not a speech, it's a bumper sticker. And it is delivered with such relish that you can literally see Barbra getting her own back from every unhappy romance or unrequited longing she ever felt. It is completely self indulgent and has a stale musty aura of intellectual and emotional self-diddling. IMO, this is supposed to be the emotional climax of the film, but it's got the maturity of an old "Virginia Slims" commercial.

On the positive side, this is an 'A' level production, with great sets and costumes, good performances from Lauren Bacall and Mimi Rogers, and even a few funny lines. And Barbra sounds great on the sound track singing the title piece.

Note to Barbra Streisand: You are one of the most admired and respected singers and actresses in the world. You have millions of dollars and unlimited license to undertake any recording project you want. You even look pretty good in a middle-aged-dynamic-businesswoman kind of way. You've won. Please, please, stop scoring easy points in self-indulgent movie fantasies about how gorgeous and young you are.
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A Fine Work By Streisand
movieratings0315 May 2006
THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES **** There are close to no gentlemen callers who are waiting to romance professor Rose Morgan (Barbra Streisand), so she's learning to settle for a life with no man by her side. To her surprise, she is eventually pursued by a Math teacher (Jeff Brydges) who seeks a platonic marital relationship. Needlessly appreciative of the fact that any man - much less an attractive man - wants her, she becomes frustrated with the lack of intimacy between them as they draw together and eventually wed. The role-playing between Streisand and her antagonistic mother (Lauren Becall) adds intensity to the story. A fine work by Streisand.
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My Favorite Film
VivienLeighsnumber1fan18 March 2000
This film is my favorite film because I love Barbra's talent and charisma! The film has major heavy hitters. I knew everyone in the cast! Even Lauren Bacall was in this ! I thought Babs looked better at the beginning than in the end. I couldn't function through the week if I didn't see this film ! I ain't kidding. The movies beginning got off to a good start and continued to develop interest. I recommend this film to anyone who is a fan of Babs and hasn't seen it. Even though the critics hated the film it still was fun and sort of like Cinderella in ways. Great Soundtrack! Lots of great moments and see it around Thanksgiving time, I did and I loved it

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A thoroughly enjoyable film!
annac22514 September 2005
For all those people out there who are thinking 'how could a movie directed by and starring Barbra Streisand be good?' please leave your preconceptions at the door! This film, in my opinion, is a thoroughly enjoyable and delightful romantic comedy.

Babs stars as Rose, a Professor of Literature at Columbia University in New York who is basically, desperate and dateless. Jeff Bridges (in a humorous and charming performance) plays Professor Gregory Larkin, a man who is constantly losing his mind over unobtainable women. In his frustration and belief that "sexual attraction ruins all relationships", he decides to place an ad in the paper for a female companion, "appearance unimportant". When Rose's sister (Mimi Rogers) answers the ad on her behalf, the 2 begin a relationship that eventually reveals what love is really all about.

This film is funny, moving and romantic. My husband really doesn't really enjoy it, which could indicate the average male's perspective, but I'd highly recommend it for someone looking for a soppy night in!
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Your Own Private Math Party
bkoganbing10 January 2008
The Mirror Has Two Faces is one of those old fashioned romance stories, in which Barbra Streisand and Jeff Bridges prove that love can be had in middle age and romance might even be better at that point.

Both Streisand and Bridges are a pair of Columbia University professors, she of English, him of Mathematics. They've come to opposite conclusions about life and love. Barbra wants some love in her life, but Bridges having been burned a little too often in relationships is swearing off sex.

I like what director Streisand did with Bridges's character. I can identify with the students in his class, you spell it B-O-R-I-N-G. There are some people who are turned on by math, I'm not one of them. I sat through too many teachers who could not pique my interest in the slightest and many who were like Bridges as Barbra describes him, having his own math party at the blackboard. No one ever made it relevant for me in my academic career.

Barbra didn't do too bad with the rest of the cast which includes her mother Lauren Bacall, her sister Mimi Rogers, her wolfish brother-in-law Pierce Brosnan, best friend Brenda Vaccaro, and Bridges best friend George Segal who is a cheerful middle aged hedonist and loving every minute of it.

Lauren Bacall got her one Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress and I thought sure she would cap her career with that Oscar. She lost to Juliette Binoche for The English Patient. But Bacall is absolutely stunning as the mother who Barbra convinces that her life isn't over either.

For the acclaim it got, The Mirror Has Two Faces should have gotten a lot more, including a Best Director nomination for Barbra Streisand. And this review is dedicated to all of us who had to sit through a boring professor having his own private math party at the blackboard.
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Jeff Bridges plays Jimmy Stewart
stevenball26 December 2011
Or is he playing Fred McMurray? Barbra Streisand plays Barbra Streisand & she is in every scene. Lauren Bacall plays Lauren Bacall & received an Oscar nod - but she had to settle for a Golden Globe instead. There are some nice location shots of New York City. But mostly we have to endure a weird sexless marriage - scenes that go on for too long & go nowhere. Barbara then turns into a va-va-voom girl & every man has to have her. This is a very bad movie poorly photographed by two distinct cinematographers. Some scenes are well lit & others have a sepia tone. All of Ms. Streisand's directorial efforts are vanity projects beginning with Yentl in which she plays a male rabbinical student. Her worst movie she directed was probably the second remake of A STAR IS BORN in which she wears a very bad afro in every scene & in which her co-star Kris Kristoferson looks like a Manson Family reject.
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What was the problem with the character before?
lougarry131 March 2004
About the only redeeming characteristics are that Jeff Bridges' character realizes that he has been a schmuck, and Lauren Bacall's character realized how hurtful the cumulative effect of words can be. Otherwise, I found myself becoming annoyed at the overall message.

First off, why must a woman re-make herself totally in order to be seen as sexually attractive? Rose looked far better at the start of the movie than she did at the end. Secondly, What was wrong with the way "Rose" looked at the start of the movie? Totally comfortable, quirky, and sensible. And the idea that a size eight is considered "fat" .... well, I just rolled at that one.

Rose does repudiate sheer looks by the end of the film, but the moment is almost too tiny to be noticed. The bulk of the film shows a woman thinking she's ugly, when she is far from it (but that's a Streisand trope: Babs, you have a big nose, and who cares? You look fine and very attractive), and thinking that comfortable clothes mean frumpiness. It encourages the over-awareness of body--since when has a size eight been "too fat"?????? Basically, Rose's re-awakening to the importance of mind and self, not external standards of beauty, is too little to compensate for all the rest of the film.
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The production values are great; the sentiments are false.
foxycat-118 March 2007
I just saw this film again the first time since 1996. The production values for this film were great, but the sentiments are false. First I have to say that the acting is superb, especially Streisand and Bacall. Their mother-daughter revelation scene is wonderful, a gem shared by 2 consummate actresses.

Here's the dishonesty: In the first half, we see that everyone who's attractive is also defective in some way. Husband is a jerk, sexless, a bore, mother jealous and vain, sister has no personality. In fact, why is Streisand so madly in love with a man who's such a jerk? Streisand shines as funny, intelligent, personable, well-liked by everyone. And our view of what's pretty has changed a lot since Streisand came along in the 60's. Meryl Streep's long nose or Jolie's oversize lips would never have been acceptable before Streisand. OK, she doesn't know how to dress, but is certainly printed as attractive. The camera, as usual, loves her. And in real life Streisand has always been attractive to attractive men.

After showing us that physical beauty is not that important, the film then goes on to prove that the same woman, made more physically beautiful, can now attract her cold jerk of a husband and her sister's shallow ex. Husband even tells her that he's always found her sexy, it's just that he hadn't been interested. Such inconsistency in the writing.
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!@N19 September 1999
Does it really matter that Streisand is a wonderful singer? Does that excuse her pathetic acting of this ridiculous movie? Of course not. The Mirror Has Two Faces is filled with some rather good one-liners, except that Barbra Streisand simply cannot deliver them properly -- her annoying loser of a boyfriend played by Jeff Bridges is equally terrible. And as for playing Mimi Rogers' younger sister... well... it really doesn't help that she looks fifty rather than... what... thirty-five or something? The entire film is corny -- it is so incredibly bad that it becomes laughable. 3/10.
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Enjoyable romantic comedy; much better than it's reputation
robb_77220 April 2006
Streisand's third directorial effort was greeted with surprisingly vicious reaction from both fans and critics, nearly all of whom immediately labeled it as an over-the-top vanity piece. It also had considerable difficulty at the box office. After opening with strong numbers, the $45 million budgeted film took a nose dive and did not recover. It ended up taking in $46 million domestically ($65 million worldwide), which was a respectable take, but far from the blockbuster status of films like A STAR IS BORN or THE PRINCE OF TIDES. When considering all of the above information, it's a bit surprising to discover that the film is nothing more than an entertaining and heart-felt romantic comedy. In hindsight, it's hard to understand why a such a harmless and light-weight film became such a lighting rod for scathing reviews and harsh comments.

While the storyline is predictable, the movie is actually very well-done with a brisk pace, compelling characters, and a witty screenplay. The finale may come down a bit heavy-handed on the "message" end, but the build-up is effective enough to merit this indulgence. Though MIRROR doesn't match her previous two directorial efforts, Streisand does once again pull off the various actress/producer/director roles with great efficiently, and this results in an effective star vehicle for the then-54-year-old film legend. Jeff Bridges received a lot of flack for his completely unselfconscious portrayal, but I admire how completely he throws himself into the silly role. Lauren Bacall is brilliantly biting and luminous in her turn as Streisand's mother, a role that earned her first (and so far only) Oscar nomination. Mimi Rogers is also fun as Streisand's slutty younger sister, as is Brenda Vaccaro as her self-deprecating best friend - although Pierce Brosnan is wasted as a gigolo-like suitor. All in all, an enjoyably fluffy film, undeserving of the criticism it routinely receives.
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The Mirror Has Two Faces
susansmoose19 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The Mirror Has Two Faces

When our local cable company started running this film a month ago, I had almost forgotten that I had seen it in the theater when it first came out. I was reminded of how much I had missed the film and started watching it again. I was surprised and pleased to find that I still enjoy it and I've watched it faithfully every time that it's shown.

Jeff Bridges plays a Columbia University mathematics professor, Gregory Larkin. He is good looking but a boring, lonely man, whose relationships with beautiful women never work out. He wants one that is platonic, which is founded on respect, intelligence and a passion for ideas. Inspired by a television ad, he takes out his own personal ad and finds several applicants, which includes another Columbia University literature professor Rose Morgan through her sister, Claire, who answers the ad.

Gregory calls her one night after visiting her class and asks her to dinner where the two of them hit it off. Three months later, Gregory proposes and explains the arrangement, although, he tells her that if she wants sex, given enough of a warning, he'll be able to provide that. Rose accepts, even though she wants more. She gets her chance after she helps Greg with his teaching and he asks her if he can return the favor. And that's when things go horribly wrong.

While I'm not a big fan of Barbra Streisand, I find this romantic comedy to be witty and intelligent. The acting is sensational on all fronts, especially from Barbra Streisand, Jeff Bridges and Lauren Bacall who are its standouts. The chemistry between Ms. Streisand and Mr. Bridges is perfect and their romantic scenes are wonderful to watch, especially the final scene.
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If you like Barbra Streisand, you will love the movie
jo-erg22 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"The Mirror Has Two Faces" is, actually, a great romantic comedy. It counts with all the elements of a successful one. It has a sympathetic main character(Barbra Streisand's Rose), a charming good looking man that falls in love with her (Jeff Bridges) and a great supporting cast(including an Oscar deserving performance from Lauren Bacall). But it's main problem is that it is directed by Barbra Streisand. Those who are familiarized with Streisand's previous work (Yentl, The prince of tides) will agree that she loves to be the center of her movies, and she hurts her films by making this, and "The mirror has two faces " is not the exception.

The story centers on Rose Morgan(Barbra Streisand), a literature teacher in Columbia's University, and on Gregory Larkin(Jeff Bridges), a math teacher on the same university. Gregory looks for a relationship based on mutual respect and not in physical attraction, and Rose looks for any relationship with an average good looking man. So when Rose's sister joins them by answering an internet advertisement put by Gregory, they begin to date and the even get married, without having any physical contact. But when Rose looks for it, Gregory argues with her and she decides to go to her home with her mother(Lauren Bacall).

Until this point of the film, Streisand looks at her character(Rose) with objectivity, never making of her a very desirable good looking woman. But in the second half of the film she works in her characteristic self absorbing way. Rose decides, thanks to her mother's advise, to change her appearance. So, she begins to do some exercise, to wear make up and very elegant clothes, and to eat less. But when Gregory looks at her, he only criticizes her and she goes from home telling him that she doesn't love him anymore. At the end, Gregory realizes that he loves Rose, and they both end up together in a very romantic closing scene.

Many people, specially critics, hated the movie arguing that it was another vanity project made by Sterisand, but it much more than that. "The mirror has two faces" is a serious analysis to the relationships and how the physical and intellectual part influences them. It is true that the movie would work better if Sterisand had chosen another woman to play her character, but at the end the result is a satisfying movie with great performances and a good story.
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The Mirror Has Two Faces
jboothmillard9 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I don't understand the meaning of the title, although the leading actress did look in the mirror quite a bit, anyway, what appealed to me about seeing this film was a good cast, and the fact that produced and directed by Barbra Streisand. Basically college professor Gregory Larkin (Jeff Bridges) has been let down with sexual relationships many times, and places a personal advert to find a woman companion, only condition a good knowledge of something, and he has no care of looks and (although they wouldn't know) no sex appeal or interest. Then he meets plain English literature professor Rose Morgan (Golden Globe nominated Streisand), after her sister Claire (Mimi Rogers) answers the personal ad. For a long while it seems they both have the same opinions of how sex and true love can complicate a good relationship, and they eventually marry not for true love or sex, but just a good companionship. Of course Rose is getting very bored, and starts to get desperate for sex, and even though Gregory might be the same (slightly) he backs away from the opportunity. For a while, they split and she tries her chances with a man she once loved (and probably vice versa) before he married Claire, Alex (Pierce Brosnan). When that doesn't work she decides to change her image to be more appealing to herself and others, of course when Gregory sees he is quite shocked, but don't worry, he sees he has true feeling for her as well. Also starring Golden Globe winning, and Oscar and BAFTA nominated Lauren Bacall as Hannah Morgan, George Segal as Henry Fine, Brenda Vaccaro as Doris, Austin Pendleton as Barry and Elle Macpherson as Candice. There are a couple of giggly moments, and the cast of a few good stars kept me interested, but it did have its many moments of pure cheesiness, but still worth watching. The Oscar and Golden Globe nominated song "I Finally Found Someone" by Streisand and Bryan Adams in the end credits is good, if only Streisand and Bridges weren't doing a long dance in the streets. It was nominated the Golden Globe for Best Original Score for Marvin Hamlisch. Worth watching!
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Trivial and clichéd, with slightly cloying rankness, except for Bridges.
cskoog1 May 2011
We see lots of romantic comedies, and this one has left the most rancid aftertaste since Moonstruck or one of the ones with Hugh Grant. It is artificial and contrived, as well as simultaneously polemical and narcissistic. We stayed with it for one reason only: Jeff Bridges. His performance is in fact whole-hearted and engaging, even though he is given a character upon whose implausibility the entire film depends. Streisand's limitations as an actress are painful to watch, and Bacall somehow seems aware that she is playing her part in a Streisand vanity project. The actress cast as Streisand's sister (the pretty one of the two), is not really beautiful enough to justify Streisand's character's angst, which makes it all even more fishy, as does the paper cut out role given Pierce Brosnan.
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Good exercise of star's prerogative
VirginiaK_NYC6 April 2004
I think I put this on my Netflix list because I was in a Jeff Bridges mood - anyhow it arrived in the mail and I was happy to watch it. My main reaction: this is a great illustration of how much fun it must be to be able to make yourself just the movie you want to.

In this movie, Barbra Streisand is able to do the following: be a super-smart but plain-looking woman professor who is loved by her students; as this character, and against her expectations, get herself a man who's both hunky and brilliant (Jeff Bridges); go through an ugly duckling-swan transformation; and have Lauren Bacall for her mother (though the mother is pretty toxic until fairly far along).

Pretty satisfying if you're looking for a feel-good story with a bit of a feminist spin. I wish however that someone had asked me for my opinion about the makeover, the body and dress were fine (from shapeless to fit & foxy), but oh, that hair!!! Why not really splashy blonde, or leave it alone, instead of that too-silvery highlighted frizz? And why no red lipstick? Lauren Bacall was right, she needed more color.

The bit of psychologizing between Barbra & Mom was effective as far as I was concerned, and I like seeing the potential it released in our Barbra. Overall - a B+ chickflick, a good resource if you can't watch any more Hugh Grant or Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan stories & need a nice sniffle.
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Try it, you might like it!
Dax-811 December 1998
I sat down to watch this movie with a degree of scepticism having read previous reviews blasting it. I was pleasantly surprised and although not an earth shaking film, it was enjoyable to watch. I thought the actors came across well, it had a good combination of humour and romance, and at the end of the day, I thought I had my money's worth.
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A Highly Entertaining film with Superb Performances...
namashi_125 March 2010
Partly Based on the 1958 French film Le Miroir à Deux Faces written by André Cayatte and Gérard Oury, which focused on a homely woman who becomes a beauty, which creates problems in her marriage. 'The Mirror Has Two Faces' is simple, sweet and a majorly entertaining film directed by the Legendary Barbra Streisand.

'The Mirror Has Two Faces' works big time, because it has a story to tell... a story that has it's share of WOW moments, no wonder this film was a box office super-hit during it's release way back 1996. With a running time of 126 minutes, here's a film we'll not forget for at least the next 2 decades!

Streisand's direction is perfect, so is her signing and her acting. An all-rounder! Jeff Bridges pitches in an Incredible performance. The Academy Award-Winning Actor never disappoints! Lauren Bacall is fantastic as Streisand's old and groovy mom. Pierce Brosnan is very okay, mainly because he gets nothing to do but stock his wife everywhere!

On the whole, 'The Mirror Has Two Faces' is a classic... Two Thumbs Up!
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Babs in Love
evanston_dad16 June 2009
This mediocre romance was Barbra Streisand's announcement to the world that middle-aged people can fall in love too.

O.k., fair enough, I don't begrudge her the sentiment, but the film she made to express it is all soft. It exists mostly as a vanity project for Streisand, who goes from frump to glamour puss over the course of its two-hour running time. Jeff Bridges is always winning and likable, and so he is here as Streisand's love interest. His presence is almost enough to make up for the tired and generic theme song.

The film is probably most famous for NOT bringing Lauren Bacall a much-anticipated Oscar, which went instead to Juliette Binoche in one of the biggest upsets in recent memory.

Grade: C
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A Lovely Romantic Comedy...
Isaac585530 November 2005
I was so pleased as I read the previous posts for this film and was pleasantly surprised to learn that the "Death To Barbra Streisand" Knell that seems to pervade Hollywood seems to be limited to just Hollywood and there are people out there who keep an open mind regarding Streisand and her work. Streisand mounts one of her most entertaining and romantic films with THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES, a beguiling story about a romance between two lonely college professors that ends up turning into a platonic marriage. Yes, you can see how this is going to end thirty minutes into it, but the journey to that the ending is such a pleasure. Yes, despite Rose Morgan's Plain Jane demeanor, this is a bit of vanity piece for Streisand, but not so much as YENTL was. It's a very "Barbra" film with very "Barbra" themes and messages that we expect from her and for those of us who love Barbara, that's OK. Streisand has surrounded herself with a superb supporting cast. Lauren Bacall was robbed of an Oscar for her performance as Rose's vain, insensitive mother and Mimi Rogers was amusing as Rose's vain, insensitive sister. I loved the scene at Rogers' wedding where she threatens to have her mother's birth certificate blown into a birthday card and Bacall dryly replies, "I should never have encouraged you to speak." Pierce Brosnan and Brenda Vaccarro also offer some strong moments. But the most pleasant surprise for me in this film is the performance by Jeff Bridges as the slightly nerdy calculus professor, Gregory Larkin. Bridges makes this character so likable and injects him with a perfect combination of nerdiness and sexiness at the same time. Very few actors can pull that combo off, but Bridges does it so effortlessly. You just want to take Gregory in your arms and say, "It's OK, baby, it's OK..." Streisand has directed this film with a surprising amount of quiet sensibility and has given us an albeit predictable, totally winning romantic comedy.
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Or, "The Theatre Has Two Patrons"
Boyo-214 September 1999
I love Streisand and think she is one of the most talented people ever born, but this movie is total garbage and unworthy of the great cast she assembled. I don't mind a soap opera and I don't shy away from a "chick flick", but I think if anyone were to like this, it would have to be a woman. At least Bacall did not win the Oscar - she was okay at best.
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