Monday, October 15, 2012

Up Close and Personal (1996)

Enjoyable A Star is Born reboot! 

Some say this movie was originally intended as a biographical film about Jessica Savitch but I disagree. Anyway, everyone should have seen this one coming. The first movie version of A Star Is Born was made in 1937, with Janet Gaynor and Fredric March. In 1954 it became a musical with Judy Garland and James Mason. In 1976 it became kitsch with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. 

And in 1996, for no apparent reason other than Hollywood tradition or script bankruptcy, we were given the obligatory 20-year remake by director Jon Avnet (Fried Green Tomatoes) - this one with the beautiful Michelle Pfeiffer and (an aging) Robert Redford as the lead pair along with Joe Mantegna, Stockard Channing and Kate Nelligan in able supporting roles. 

Predictably, the story changed to the world of 90's TV news, with Pfeiffer getting groomed for greatness as a reporter by veteran newsman Redford, whose career has nowhere to go but down. It's superficial and predictable stuff, right down to the tuneless Celine Dion hit that adorns the love montage - "Because You Loved Me" which was also nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Original Song! 

Nonetheless (and to my own strange amusement), I found Up Close and Personal to be a slick, happy and watchable piece of romantic entertainment. It's probably a nice date film too. Of course, I'm only guessing!


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