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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
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by Jack Sommersby

"Down and Out in Seattle"
5 stars

Piano-playing brothers, an ace female singer on call with the triple-A escort service, tuxedos and red dresses, and juicy dialogue you could stick a steak knife into. What's not to like?

Steve Kloves wrote the screenplay for the lovely 1983 coming-of-age drama Racing With the Moon, which afforded Sean Penn, Elizabeth McGovern, and Nicolas Cage plum roles; here, he makes his directorial debut with this three-character study that gives Jeff and Beau Bridges and Michelle Pheiffer equally plum ones, only the result this time is more than lovely -- it's positively enchanting. The offscreen Bridges brothers play the onscreen Baker brothers, a piano-playing duo who've never held a day job in their lives. One is average of talent and a content family man (Beau), the other is an immensely gifted loner selling himself out for easy money (Jeff). Their nightly gigs at dowdy hotel lounges and bars are attracting less and less customers, so they take on Pheiffer's naturally talented singer (who's "been on call for the triple-A escort service for the last year and a half") to liven up their act. And it does. Soon, they're getting pristine gigs and really rolling in the green, but an infatuation eventually develops between the singer and the less-attached of the brothers. Tension and jealousy and resentment soon ensue. Kloves' stories aren't particularly earth-shattering, but he knows how to write about interesting people saying and doing interesting things. His dialogue is both sneaky and sly, but also refreshingly naturalistic without ever coming across as nondescript; he has the gift of knowing how to frame actors and pinpoint the dramatic focus in a scene without italicizing it; and he's low-key yet visually astute for a talking-heads director (due in no small part to his wise selection of first-rate cinematographers -- the one here being the virtuoso Michael Ballhaus). While Boys doesn't have the sparkling vision of Kloves' near-brilliant (and severely underrated) Flesh and Bone, it nevertheless shares that film's vivid evocation of dailiness: Kloves is stalwart at making habitualness among the middle working class fascinating. And all three stars, giving performances of both dramatic and comical proportions, are flawless.

Trivia note: Kloves originally wanted Dennis and Randy Quaid to headline the cast.

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originally posted: 03/27/05 04:46:09
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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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