I accidentally watched this movie thinking it was Funny Girl, and had I watched it without seeing Funny Girl I may not have liked it so much. But I won't fret on that, because I really did like this picture. It's a lovely romantic story, but don't expect the typical by meets girl formula. Instead you get more of a "Two For The Road" antagonistic romance, or perhaps if you're a TV fan, Sam and Diane. Buy this if you want to hear great music (I'm buying the soundtrack immediately) and see Barbra's awesome acting chops (her character, Fanny Bryce is the kinda hard-nosed girl who says everything you'd want to say). I think it's an absolute must-see.
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.
The movie fails on so many levels. Read more