For the Boys
Boys is one of my favorite Bette Midler performances, and I am a huge
fan of the divine Ms. M.
|Others agreed with me, as
she was nominated by the Academy for best actress, and received best
actress from the Golden Globes. -- Maltin awards 2 1/2 stars,
but praises Midler's performance. Ebert, in a carefully written
review, trashes the film as having a bad script and lack of character
development, while awarding 2 stars
|none, other than cleavage.
|Midler (as Dixie Leonard)
is an unknown radio singer at the start of WW-II, when she gets her
big break. Her uncle is a writer for famous song and dance man Eddie
Sparks (James Caan), and gets her a gig on his European USO tour. She
leaves her young son with a friend, and flies off to London for what
is probably a career making chance. She arrives late, tears her dress,
gets off on the wrong foot with Eddie, but is a huge hit with the GIs,
both for her singing, and her indelicate humor. Eddie wants her on the
first plane home, but is convinced by his writers and his manager that
the two of them together will take show business by storm. In all
honesty, this is the best part of the film.
||The story is told as a flashback by
Midler to a young production assistant who has arrived to get her to
an awards show with Eddie, whom she hasn't spoken to in 25 years. They
did the USO thing through WW-II, had a hit TV sitcom, went back on
tour for Korea, and then again for Vietnam, where Midler's son
is killed in front of her. She blames Eddie for this, and for
not defending her uncle against an HUAC blacklisting. Take Bette from
this film, and it would not be watchable. I am a fan of big band
music, so really enjoyed the music. The makeup in aging Eddie and
Dixie was very well done, and some of the sets were impressive.
General consensus: three
stars. Ebert 2/4, Maltin 2.5/4.
Midler was nominated for an Oscar, and won the Golden
Glove for best performer in a comedy or musical.
- With their
votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters
score it 5.6.
- With their
dollars ... it wasn't a smash, hit, but
it grossed $18 million at the domestic box.
guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence, about like three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, about like two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, about like two stars from the critics.
Films under five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film, equivalent to about one
and a half stars from the critics or less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well.
Based on this
description, this film is a C+, defining the genre as
"Bette Midler movies".
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