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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 14.29%
Average: 16.67%
Pretty Bad: 2.38%
Total Crap: 4.76%

2 reviews, 30 user ratings

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Fabulous Baker Boys, The
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Natasha Theobald

"Family business"
5 stars

The best movies are like life, full of funny moments and honest moments, real struggles and almost joy. By that measuring stick, this is one of the best. Buoyed by a great script by Steve Kloves, who also directed, and exceptional performances from the three leads, the Baker Boys deserve a couple of hours of attention.

The Baker Boys have been playing piano together for 31 years and performing their lounge act for fifteen of them. Frank (Beau Bridges) is the responsible brother. He takes care of the business end of things. He is good with people, a family man, and he enjoys performing the same scripted act night after night in one smoky room after another. He is the journeyman of the pair.

Brother Jack (Jeff Bridges) is the artist. He is a brooding loner who has difficulty working and playing well with others. He is brutally honest and devastatingly sexy. He draws women in with his great hands and rough-hewn charm, only to discard them quickly. His life is sort of empty, as he comes home to his dog, Eddie (Drake) and, occassionally, the little girl (Ellie Raab) from upstairs. He has let go of what might have been, given his talent, to be part of the family business.

The boys are having some trouble drumming up any business lately, though, and they decide to take on a singer. The auditions are hilariously disastrous (you must see Jennifer Tilly doing "The Candy Man"), but, over an hour late, in stumbles Susie Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer), a former escort with a rich, sultry voice. All of a sudden, they are playing to full houses and getting better deals. The change, while promising, is a little dangerous. The shake up of the status quo forces each of them to re-examine what they really want, and what they really want may lie just out of reach.

This is the first time the Bridges brothers have worked together. They both studied piano as kids and were able to brush up for the roles. The relationship between the brothers, their differences and common bond, is central to the movie, and the casting of real brothers enriches the telling of the story. Beau Bridges has the tough part of playing second fiddle, but he manages it with grace and charm. Jeff Bridges is as amazing as usual, creating another full character, flawed and bold and utterly watchable.

Michelle Pfeiffer is the catalyst for change. She also draws a portrait of a wounded survivor, rough around the edges but soft in the middle. She brings an energy and a spark into their world, making it impossible for them to continue to ignore the lives they have not led. And, she does a great job with the singing. Special kudos to Peggy Holmes, who is credited with the choreography for "Makin' Whoopee" on the piano top, which Pfeiffer sells and then some.

The movie is about musicians and is, therefore, filled with wonderful music, mostly jazz. In addition to the familiar favorites that are part of the act, the original music was done by Dave Grusin.

It seems to me that they don't make movies for adults anymore. If something can't draw the PG-13 crowd, it just doesn't get done. This is a movie for grown-ups -- intelligent, raw, and real -- and the experience of it is fully satisfying.

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originally posted: 02/05/03 05:33:18
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User Comments

8/04/16 Gerry Pigeon Great jazz, Pfeiffer's sensual, vulnerable, stunning 5 stars
4/02/13 Alan Michelle is out of this world. The Bribridges are superb. 5 stars
11/08/12 Susan Smith Michelle Pfieffers best work and she sings good too 4 stars
12/25/10 alan zoskins overwhelming 5 stars
3/15/09 jeff absolutely love this movie. Pfeifer is amazing as is the music and the cinematography 5 stars
2/08/09 sammykat can,t ever forget michelle pfeffer 4 stars
9/05/08 Ted Delis great acting excellent film 5 stars
4/20/08 Mexii =] One of the BEST Movies EVER MADE!! Mint Film Gunna Love Michelle Pfeiffer til I DIE!!!! 5 stars
3/08/08 alzoss Makin whoopie gets this 5 stars 5 stars
10/15/07 fools♫gold I'm a bit cautious when it comes to Steven Kloves... 4 stars
7/05/05 Naruto Total crap 5 stars
4/30/05 Chris Stephens Boring 2 stars
4/05/05 Eugene Mortensen good acting but overrated ok if else around the store 3 stars
4/03/05 Eric great dialogue, acting, Pfeiffer is sexy as hell 4 stars
3/31/05 hannaho Entertaining, but not the best performance from this star cast. 3 stars
3/30/05 Bruce Excellent acting can't save a boring plot. 3 stars
7/23/04 Ted Kerchner One of the finest movies I've seen. 5 stars
3/29/04 i simply hate it 1 stars
2/27/03 Linda Newman Superb film-Pfeiffer should have won the Oscar. Saw movie so many times I lost count. 5 stars
2/05/03 Jack Sommersby Deliberately paced, a bit self-indulgent, but mostly excellent. Jeff Bridges is aces. 4 stars
12/16/02 opin en evano Will I ever see you again? What do you think? I think so.. Intuition.. Doppertjes :S It sux 1 stars
11/29/02 Snoojub The sexiest film ever made! 5 stars
11/04/02 R.W. Welch Occasionally interesting look at small time show biz; not much really happens though. 3 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum Good, but too overrated 3 stars
8/14/02 Jerad Formby Name another movie where the rivalry between two brothers is ultimately decided so smoothly 5 stars
3/27/02 Joe Arcane OK, but hardly 5 stars 3 stars
3/08/01 Sanja great drama, jus great 5 stars
1/25/00 Chris Whitney one of the best character studies ever 5 stars
7/04/99 Vick Di Brecci Pfeiffer's acting is better here than in Scarface 4 stars
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  02-Feb-1990 (R)

  02-Jul-1990 (15)

  02-Jul-1990 (M)

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