Forever, Lulu (1987) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

File this one under "pretty good idea, abysmal execution."

Elaine is a 40ish aspiring writer who pays the bills by working for a toilet seat company, presumably as a "go"-fer. Her bill-paying capacity is reduced to zero when she loses even that pathetic job, but the truly disheartening thing about her life is that getting fired from a bad job is the apex of her existence. Her agent tells her that her manuscripts are totally unsellable. She hasn't been laid since the Carter administration, and she's living in a total dump in one of the worst parts of town, which becomes beyond her means after she loses her job! Despair overcomes her. One night, when she is caught in the rain with no umbrella and no money for transportation, all the grief and frustration reaches a crescendo and she tries to shoot herself.

And a miracle happens.

A couple wanders by, and when they see her waving her gun and babbling hysterically, they assume she is a crazy street person who is mugging them. They hand over their expensive coats and run away. Elaine gets a mink, and some secret information that leads her to a ritzy apartment, a bloody shootout, two suitcases full of money and drugs, and a mysterious photograph of an unknown woman. Elaine takes the suitcases away from the apartment, and considers keeping the booty but, after some deliberation, she decides to play it straight and turn everything over to the cops, along with the full unvarnished version of her story. Her honesty makes her the darling of New York. She gets to repeat her sad life story on all the talk shows, and her new-found celebrity status turns her life completely around. She finds wide fame, riches, and a new love, but not before conducting a search for the mystery woman and encountering some loose ends from the drug bust.

There is actually far more to it than that. I've oversimplified and, in fact, the additional complications are the elements that turn the film from a sappy rags-to-riches romance into a comedy, but those elements are too complicated to detail in this sort of forum, and they should be left for you to discover, if it sounds like your kind of film.

There are some interesting minor elements interspersed throughout Forever, Lulu.

  • The film has some good moments, good enough so that I got drawn into the occasional scene despite generally poor acting and pedestrian direction.
  • How can you not love a scene like the one to the right? Is it from Forever, Lulu or a really good episode of Seinfeld?
  • This film represents the film debut of Alec Baldwin, who played a young cop love-smitten by the much older Hanna Schygulla. (Hanna made her own film debut in 1968, and was 43 when she made this film!) 
Unfortunately, the film ultimately lacks the minimum essentials of a professional production. The star, German actress Hanna Schygulla, goes through the entire film staring blankly in response to every situation, as if she didn't really understand what was happening. Some of the bit players are even weaker. Writer/director Amos Kollek made a brief acting appearance as the literary agent, and ... well, as an actor, he's roughly on a par with the local used car dealers who do their own commercials. His direction isn't much better. A couple of scenes are so confusing as to be completely incomprehensible. Hanna's ex-boyfriend lets himself into her apartment while she's taking a bath. She hears an intruder and draws a gun which seems to come from underwater in her tub! Setting aside such strange lapses in logic, one must give Kollek his props as a writer. You could take this script, make some minor changes, remake the film with Kate Hudson, and it would play out pretty much like every other Kate Hudson film, and might even become a minor hit. In fact, I might make the same statement about every one of the Amos Kollek scripts I am familiar with. In its present shape, however, Forever, Lulu is the filmmaking equivalent of a top Rolling Stones song covered by a garage band: a good idea presented sincerely and with a lot of heart, but without the necessary capability to make it rock.


  • No important features
  • The transfer is widescreen, anamorphically enhanced (16x9)


  • Hanna Schygulla shows her breasts in a bathtub scene.

  • A porn actress lies on her stomach, exposing her bum and one breast from the side.

  • A stripper removes her top, exposing her breasts. She's wearing a tiny thong and the camera is behind her, so her buns are also visible

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online.

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own 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. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). 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. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, it's a D+, an indie film with a decent script marred by amateur acting and slipshod direction.

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