Funny Lady (Bilingual)
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Barbra Streisand is back and she'll never forget!
When Barbra Streisand played Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, she brought to life a sympathetic yet strong-headed performer of stage and radio. In the sequel, Funny Lady, Brice comes off as a harsher woman, slightly bitchy, without the tremendous charm she possessed in the first film. Herbert Ross takes over as director (William Wyler oversaw Funny Girl), and the film just seems to get away from him. This sequel picks up during the Great Depression, when even the great star Fanny Brice is suffering. Along comes Billy Rose (James Caan), a small-time hustler who's out to make it big in show biz. The two pair up, both professionally and romantically, although things are uncertain when her first husband, Nick Arnstein (Omar Sharif), reappears on the scene. Much to the movie's detriment, Funny Lady concentrates more on Brice's professional life than on her personal life, as the first film does. The songs are elaborately staged numbers that Brice performs in the theaters, and while they are visually lush and spectacular, they lack conviction. Caan is solid in his role as the bumbling producer, but overall, the film is a disappointment. If you want more Barbra and Brice, rewatch Funny Girl. --Jenny Brown --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
She is bitchy because she has been bruised. Notice upon another rewatching of "Funny Girl" how Fanny slowly but surely learns to cover up her pain and anguish through her constant performativity. Whatever innocence was left in her is gone after Nick walked out the door. "Funny Lady" is a worthy sequel because, psychologically, it starts where the last movie leaves off. Fanny must learn to love again. The reason you don't see "sweet Barbra" until the train sequence is because the movie is ABOUT the re-emergence of the sincere woman.
Pay attention to the kinds of lines the writers of both "Funny Girl" and "Funny Lady" give to Fanny Brice. This is the same woman. Only older. Wiser. More bruised. And to those of you who call the movie "cliché," I wonder if you missed the ending.
Is the movie overproduced? Yes. Is it poorly written? No. I would argue that this movie very nearly merits its original in quality, but because it very sincerely tackles the problems of maturity, the problem of Life After Love, its themes may be too complex for those looking only for another tragic love story.
As someone who knows the power of First Love, I found this movie honest and moving, worthy in nearly every way to its prequel, and though there's not enough room in this space to defend it fully, I count myself among those prepared to do so.
The DVD gets four stars because there are no special features.
There are several reasons for this, though none are to do with the performances given by the leads; Streisand reprising her role as Fanny Brice does what she can with a truly lousy script, ditto James Caan as her hapless second Husband, Billy Rose.
Why 'Funny Girl' fails so badly is the fact that it seems to have had eighteen different writers, producers and directors working on the project at any one time. At one point, early on in the movie, Fanny complains of Rose's show that 'the whole damn thing is overproduced' - ironically, a metaphor for 'Funny Lady' itself. Musical numbers are shockingly produced - 'Clap Hands, Here Comes Charley' looks and sounds like a singer in great pain, while Barbra's showcase songs 'Great Day' (embarrasingly racist) and 'Let's Hear it for Me', while beautifully performed, are hideously shambolic mish-mash affairs of direction and choreography, or lack thereof.
The script, too, is second-rate. Why is Fanny a big bee-yotch all of a sudden? When did the hard-nosed businesswoman come along to replace the sweet, funny Fanny of the previous movie? She's too mercenary now, all shares and profits, and her femininity doesn;t really begin to show until the 'Isn't This Better?' moment (a beautiful song, and an even better performance), but this is towards the film's end, and by that stage we're just plain tired of Bitter Barbra.
Bearing little to no resemblance to its predecessor, 'Funny Lady' is a terribly poorly-produced movie, full of beautiful songs and really awful visuals. Buy the soundtrack instead.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a fabulous movie. I still think "Funny Girl" is better, but I adore this film. One of Ms. Streisand's best! "FIVE STARS! Read morePublished on July 10 2004 by T. S. Sterrett
The 1968 film version of FUNNY GIRL was an absolute masterpiece, and as perfect as a musical-comedy film can be. Read morePublished on April 5 2004 by Det. Abilene
This movie, standing alone, is average. Barbra seems seriously bored, and there is absolutely no chemistry between them. But, it is well done, with the sets, and somewhat the plot. Read morePublished on Oct. 10 2003 by Amir Haidar
I hadn't seen this movie since its release nearly 30 years ago, and I thought I might actually enjoy it more now on DVD than I did then. Wrong. Read morePublished on April 7 2003 by Blu-ray Bill
I actually saw this movie before I saw Funny Girl, so I must say that, standing alone, it's a pretty good movie. Read morePublished on Aug. 5 2002 by S. Thompson
James Caan and Barbara Streisand are awesome together
I accidentally watched this movie thinking it was Funny Girl, and had I watched it without seeing Funny Girl I may not... Read more
I really enjoyed this format for the film. The aspect that disappoints is that there is no new material to include. Read morePublished on March 31 2002 by gregory d. wirth
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