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Funny Lady (Bilingual)

Barbra Streisand , James Caan , Herbert Ross    Unrated   DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
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Frequently Bought Together

Funny Lady (Bilingual) + Funny Girl (Bilingual) + Hello Dolly
Price For All Three: CDN$ 27.87

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  • Funny Girl (Bilingual) CDN$ 14.99
  • Hello Dolly CDN$ 6.99

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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

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not THAT Bad Dec 1 2003
Maybe it's because it was the first Barbra Streisand movie I ever saw and didn't have its predecessor to compare it to, but I don't think "Funny Lady" is as bad as many say. True, this movie was made around the time Streisand began to lose her sense of humor, and it shows in her performance. The story is also less developed than the one in "Funny Girl." Still, Streisand's star power and the spectacular musical numbers manage to hold this flawed sequel together. With a filmography that includes "A Star is Born" and "The Main Event," Streisand fans can certainly do worse than "Funny Lady."
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy and Cruelly Underappreciated Sequel Dec 29 2003
After reading so many negative reviews of this movie, I was surprised to find that I actually loved it. To refute:
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.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Why, Barbra? Why?? Dec 15 2003
This is a disjointed, embarrassing, histrionic hodge-podge of a movie that never comes anywhere near to capturing the magnificent La Streisand's glory days of 'Hello, Dolly!' and the sublime 'Funny Girl'.
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.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not Funny, Lady April 7 2003
By Bill
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.
The movie fails on so many levels.
First, what works: the score and Streisand's singing. That's about it.
Vastly overrated director Herbert Ross saps the energy from every scene. The dramatic scenes are lifeless and artificial. Streisand squeezes what laughs she can by punching up her lines, but it's a wasted effort.
Not a single musical number works, and the Great Day scene, in particular, is an embarrassment. It's the latter number that makes you realize how bad the movie is. The song actually works better WITHOUT the visual.
The script is absolutely awful. The whole idea behind fictionalizing a biography is to improve on the life story. What excuse is there for making it all a cliche?
The DVD picture quality is very fine, for what it's worth, although there are no extras to speak of.
Bottom line: Buy the CD (Streisand at her peak singing great Kander and Ebb songs), and forget the movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Her Beauty Doesn't Hide Her Talent Feb. 25 2002
Beautiful movie stars always have the extra burden of proving their talent as actresses. Barbra Streisand's self assured performance in Funny Lady excells for the simple reason that Barbra didn't hide behind a self imposed veil of "dramatic non-glamour" so often resorted to by actress looking for a new appraoch ("Oh look! She's wearing slippers - and no make-up! She must be acting!") but rather embraced the physical beauty and glamour of her character and her self and still turns in a whoppingly great performance. I have alwasy regretted that this movie is somehow shunned (did any of you see it at the AFI tribute?) because it truly is one of the greatest film performances ever delivered by an actress. One reviewer said in 1975 (and I paraphrase) "Fanny warns Billy Rose that his entire production is swamped and in many ways the same can be said for Funny Lady the movie..." The review then went on to say that Barbra finds her dramactic calm in all that's going on around her and with a simple telephone conversation she can convey to the audience all the hurt, anguish, pain and love that goes into making a relationship work. (The reviewer awarded the film 4 out of 4 stars based mostly on Barbra's performance). I was eight years old when "Funny Girl" was released so I did not have the love affair with Fanny Brice that America had. I knew of Barbra Streisand in the same manner as I knew of Carol Burnett - somebody who was famous but I never got to stay up late enough to see their stuff. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ADORABLE! I LOVE IT!!
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 more
Published on July 10 2004 by T. S. Sterrett
4.0 out of 5 stars "See, Billy, in a tutu, I can be funny."
The 1968 film version of FUNNY GIRL was an absolute masterpiece, and as perfect as a musical-comedy film can be. Read more
Published on April 5 2004 by Det. Abilene
3.0 out of 5 stars Fair movie, baaad sequel (3.5 rating)
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 more
Published on Oct. 10 2003 by Amir Haidar
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty darn good. . .if you haven't seen Funny Girl
I actually saw this movie before I saw Funny Girl, so I must say that, standing alone, it's a pretty good movie. Read more
Published on Aug. 5 2002 by S. Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked it. . .but I haven't seen Funny Girl
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
Published on Aug. 3 2002 by S. Thompson
4.0 out of 5 stars From Funny Girl to Funny Lady
I really enjoyed this format for the film. The aspect that disappoints is that there is no new material to include. Read more
Published on March 31 2002 by gregory d. wirth
4.0 out of 5 stars How Lucky?
Barbra Streisand doesn't talk about FUNNY LADY that much. She did not include any songs or references to it in her 1992 CD collection "Just For The Record". Read more
Published on Feb. 23 2002 by Matt Howe
1.0 out of 5 stars How Unlucky Can You Get?
From the very start of the picture, one can't help but get the feeling that a sequel to FUNNY GIRL was a big mistake. FUNNY LADY reaks of bad taste on just about every level. Read more
Published on Feb. 21 2002
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