It's Hollywood, 1958. Aspiring actress, songwriter, small town beauty queen and devout Baptist virgin Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins) has a contract with movie mogul Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty) and arrives with her mother (Annette Bening) in Los Angeles to do a screen test for one of his film projects. At the airport, they meet their driver Frank Forbes (Alden Ehrenreich). Forbes is an ambitious young man with a business plan and engaged to his 7th grade sweetheart, both deeply religious Methodists. The instant attraction that Marla and Frank feel for each other not only puts their religious convictions and moral values to the test, but also defies Hughes' #1 rule: No employee is allowed to have any relationship whatsoever with a contract actress. Hughes' enigmatic behavior intersects with Marla and Frank in 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
Studio production took place at the Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood. On location filming took place at multiple venues, including S. Grand Avenue, Musso & Frank Grill, and the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. See more »
Although it's 1958, the film shows the "5 Star" street lights lining Hollywood Blvd as Frank drives. The "5 Star" lights didn't go in until 1960 when the Walk of Fame was constructed. See more »
The end credits contain the standard disclaimer that all characters are fictional. But Howard Hughes, as well as his aides Noah Dietrich (played by Martin Sheen) and Robert Maheu (Alec Baldwin) are real people. See more »
Steve Mnuchin AND Louise Linton? There goes the neighborhood.
Without a doubt, Howard Hughes was one of the most eccentric and enigmatic figures of the 20th century. A billionaire who went into the movie business, he left his mark on a number of industries. Martin Scorsese focused on part of Hughes's career with "The Aviator". Now Warren Beatty does so with "Rules Don't Apply". This one looks at a relationship between one of Hughes's starlets and her driver in the 1950s. It's not a great movie, but infinitely better than Beatty's last movie, the crime against humanity "Town & Country" (which rivaled Woody Allen's worst movie "Everyone Says I Love You" in being an obnoxious fetishization of neurotic New Yorkers having affairs with each other).
The only thing that drags this movie down is the appearance of two people: Steve Mnuchin (as a banker) and Louise Linton (as a potential starlet). They're now husband and wife. He's Treasury Secretary, while she Instagrammed a photo of herself and tagged the designers, and proceeded to make a let-them-eat-cake remark when a woman criticized her use of a government plane for travel (this was after she published a book purporting to tell of a year that she spent in Zambia, but the entire nation of Zambia disdained it as a promotion of the white savior trope).
Anyway, it's a good movie otherwise. Aside from Beatty, it stars Lily Collins, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, Candice Bergen, Dabney Coleman and Ed Harris. To put that another way, it stars Clyde Barrow, Snow White, Carolyn Burnham, Capt. Willard, Jack Ryan, Ferris Bueller, Murphy Brown, a creepy boss and Jackson Pollock.
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