The decision to move the story from Hollywood to the world of rock music was the right choice for the time period and certainly gives lots of scope for John Normal Howard (the James Mason role, played by Kris Kristofferson) to indulge his addictions. However it means that it loses the social commentary- the 1954 film was a critique of the Hollywood dream factory whereas in the 1976 one, Barbara Streisand (as Esther Hoffman) is already Barbara Streisand and refuses to change her name and awful style, thus removing a massive internal conflict for the character.
Scenes which were beautifully dramatic in the 1954 film become cringy in the 1976 one. In the 1954 film Norman watching Esther sing The Man That Got Away after the club has closed for the night, you see him fall in love over the course of the song and Esther's unawareness of how good she really is. In the 1976 one, Esther is performing in a lounge act called the Oreos (a woeful racist joke- she is the white one and the other two performers are black) singing a funky number 'Queen Bee'. It's just cheesy, as are all of their interactions apart from when John Norman watches Esther vocalise an acoustic version of the song which later becomes Evergreen.
Streisand can sing for sure but her acting is strained. This is basically a rehash of her superior performance in Funny Girl, right down to the quick-talking Jewish humour that grates even more than John Norman's dull rock numbers. Unlike Streisand, Kristofferson can't sing- or if he can, it's not in evidence here. The film never convinces us that John Norman was ever a big famous rock star, apart from just having him sing at a packed stadium. Implausibly, John Norman's rock audience cheer and whoop for Esther's easy listening belters.
Esther's hair is a character of its own, a sort of springy brillo-pad/afro thing, and her wardrobe is the stuff of horrors (unbelievably in the credits it says that the clothes are from Streisand's own wardrobe!). People talk about the eighties as being the decade that fashion forgot- the seventies is the decade that fashion tried to scrub out of its memory.
Most of the songs are forgettable, including all of Kristofferson's. Streisand sells some on her star power- Queen Bee and The Woman in The Moon- and Evergreen is a pleasant tune. Admittedly the 1954 film isn't full of toe-tappers but they hold up better than these songs. Evergreen is no match for the darkly beautiful torch song 'The Man That Got Away'.
There are essentially no other characters within this film so your enjoyment will depend on how much you want to see sentimentality, cheesy dialogue (brought bang up to date by a proliferation of swear words- the only 'f' word in the 1954 one was 'fame') and Streisand and Kristofferson. Way too long to be enjoyed as a camp classic.