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The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)

tomatometer

96

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 23
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 1

Its story is nothing special, but The Fabulous Baker Boys glows beneath luminous performances from its perfectly cast stars.

100

Average Rating: 8.1/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 0

Its story is nothing special, but The Fabulous Baker Boys glows beneath luminous performances from its perfectly cast stars.

audience

69

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 9,719

My Rating

Movie Info

Real-life siblings Beau and Jeff Bridges star as the eponymous Fabulous Baker Boys. Musical prodigies both, the Bakers have long been teamed as a twin-piano act, with the less talented Frank (Beau Bridges) coasting on the skills of his brilliant younger brother, Jack (Jeff Bridges). Their career dwindling to nickel-and-dime dates in second-rate clubs, the Bakers decide that they need a female vocalist to boost their popularity. They select auditioner Susie Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer), who in

R,

Drama, Romance, Musical & Performing Arts

Apr 14, 1998

20th Century Fox

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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (1) | DVD (7)

The fun part is seeing it all play out, thanks to a standout cast and first-time director Steve Kloves' skill in handling them.

July 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Much of the credit must go to the actors, with the Bridges brothers making a superb double act.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a film specializing in smoky, down-at-the-heels glamour, and in the kind of smart, slangy dialogue that sounds right without necessarily having much to say.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A thoroughly enjoyable entertainment that should play just about everybody's strings right. Kloves proves to be quite a plucker.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Fabulous Baker Boys is like a beloved movie from the glory days of Hollywood. It transports you. It's an American rhapsody.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is one of the movies they will use as a document, years from now, when they begin to trace the steps by which Pfeiffer became a great star.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What I really enjoyed about The Fabulous Baker Boys is the way it balances between the three key characters, as well as the outside world that they're up against.

April 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Calgary Movies
Calgary Movies

Writer/director Steve Kloves (this was his first film) keeps his characters grounded as people...

February 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Kloves' directorial debut features three superlative performances by Jeff and Beau Bridges (as bickering siblings) and particularly Michelle Pfeiffer, who's at her sexiest with a show-stopping number atop a piano in red dress!

January 29, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

A completely engaging, thoroughly entertaining romantic comedy structured entirely on the strength of its main characters. One of the ten-best of 1989.

October 21, 2005
Fantastica Daily

There have been only three truly breathtaking torch singers in movie history: Rita Hayworth, Jessica Rabbit, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

October 3, 2002
Flipside Movie Emporium

Great script, strong performances, wonderful music ... and Michelle Pfeiffer at her absolute sexiest.

July 25, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

Simmering performances from the three lead characters that hit all the right buttons in this portrait of sibling rivalry.

February 14, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

f the film is watchable, it is mostly for the attraction of the actors. The story itself is as slow and languorous as one of Ms. Pfeiffer's songs.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Audience Reviews for The Fabulous Baker Boys

An alluring singer joins piano-playing brothers around the nightclub circuit.
The highlights of this film are the performances by the Bridges brothers and Michelle Pfeiffer, who is sultry and has a fantastic singing voice. First-class direction by Steve Kloves also captures some beautiful images, especially Pfeiffer's character, Suzie Diamond, walking down smoky, back-lit stairs and the numerous nightclubs in which the threesome play.
The film's story could have come earlier. The first forty-five minutes -- maybe even hour -- is essentially exposition. The brothers play gigs and discover Suzie, and they play more gigs and travel places. We get that Jeff Bridges's character, Jack, is unhappy, but there is no indication where his happiness comes from until the second act comes too late. Then, the film becomes about a man denying himself his own happiness, the excuses he tells himself to rationalize his fear of success or satisfaction. The film finds its center in Jack; from there, it's a strong character study, and Jeff Bridges give a quiet, subtle, and captivating performance.
The exposition itself isn't hard on the eyes. As I mentioned earlier, Pfeiffer's singing voice and the film's musical numbers are great, especially for those who like classic jazz.
Overall, the film has a mild structural problem, but the strengths of the film make it well worth the time.
July 22, 2011
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Dreary and unconvincing soap opera featuring Michelle Pfeiffer on a piano being "sexy". Apparently.
March 2, 2007
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

The use of the real life Bridges brothers aids this film tremendously as they compete for the affections of Michelle Pfeiffer. Is it intentional that the less talented brother happens to be Beau who is truly far less talented of an actor than brother Jeff? It works.
August 15, 2013
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Whatever minor quibbles I have with the story are completely made up by the remarkable chemistry of the three leads. The film is as smooth, slow, and understated as the lounge songs performed in the movie.
February 9, 2011
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

    1. Jack Baker: Frank this is paint.
    – Submitted by Vincent M (2 years ago)
    1. Frank Baker: Its not paint. It's a magical sheath which simulates a dazzling head of hair.
    – Submitted by Vincent M (2 years ago)
    1. Suzie Diamond: I figure if you're gonna be sticking something in your mouth you may as well make it the best
    – Submitted by Vincent M (2 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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Foreign Titles

  • Die fabelhaften Baker Boys (DE)
  • Susie et les Baker Boys (FR)
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