The Fabulous Baker Boys

There's nothing startlingly original about this smoothly made little romantic comedy of two piano-playing brothers who find an attractive young singer to give some much needed CPR to their dying lounge act.

With:
Jeff Bridges Michelle Pfeiffer Beau Bridges Elie Raab Jennifer Tilly

There’s nothing startlingly original about this smoothly made little romantic comedy of two piano-playing brothers who find an attractive young singer to give some much needed CPR to their dying lounge act.

The first look at cynical, seen-it-all Jack Baker (Jeff Bridges) and his bubbling, ever-optimistic brother Frank (Beau Bridges) tells us that’s necessary to know about them.

When they’re joined by sexy-surly singer Susie Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer), it’s obvious exactly where the film is headed. Jack and Susie are on a romantic collision course, with Frank bound to be hurt by the explosion.

The fun part is seeing it all play out, thanks to a standout cast and first-time director Steve Kloves’ skill in handling them.

The focus of all eyes is on Pfeiffer. The actress, who does all her own singing, is required to play a character whose vocal abilities are good, but not so good as to make a viewer wonder why she hasn’t been signed to a major label. Pfeiffer hits the nail right on the head.

She also hits the spot in the film’s certain-to-be-remembered highlight – a version of ‘Makin’ Whoopee’ that she sings while crawling all over a piano in a blazing red dress. She’s dynamite.

1989: Nominations: Best Actress (Michelle Pfeiffer), Editing, Original Score

The Fabulous Baker Boys

Production: Gladden/Mirage. Director Steve Kloves; Producer Paula Weinstein, Mark Rosenberg; Screenplay Steve Kloves; Camera Michael Ballhaus; Editor William Steinkamp; Music Dave Grusin; Art Director Jeffrey Townsend

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1989. Running time: 113 MIN.

With: Jeff Bridges Michelle Pfeiffer Beau Bridges Elie Raab Jennifer Tilly

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