The Fabulous Baker Boys - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Fabulous Baker Boys Reviews

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May 15, 2016
Fine to watch , the conversations between the 2 brothers , and the lovely Michelle Pfeiffer looks great ...bud the pianotunes were not my cup of tea . SOMDVD
April 29, 2016
A wonderful film - charming, well-paced, humane, wistful - with three great performances but especially an outstanding Michelle Pfeiffer.
March 13, 2016
Michelle Pfeiffer could have made it as a major actress in any era. Her appeal is something that only seems to strengthen with each passing year, her sublime persona the kind that we yearn for years decades when we're in a hole of believing that real movie stars don't exist anymore. To look, to listen to her, is to become a victim of her magnetism. While she carries the appearance of an angel, her sinewy figure enough to keep you engrossed for a cinematic century, she also has the delivery to match, linguistic zing and physical self-possession providing her with enchanting intelligence. She knows that you're looking at her, enticed by her mystique, but she's also unfazed by the attention; she'll prove herself before she'll ever try to ensnare your affection.
Which is why I believe Pfeiffer has remained such a beloved sex symbol ever since she solidified her place among her generation's best actresses with 1988's "The Fabulous Baker Boys." Like Rita Hayworth and Sophia Loren, she's sexy in an unaware sort of way, knowing full well that she could knock a man dead just by looking at him but maybe not so adept at sensing that our preoccupation never really stops.
"The Fabulous Baker Boys" is the type of film more famous because it made a star - just look at what "To Have and Have Not" did to Lauren Bacall, what "Body Heat" did to Kathleen Turner - but don't be fooled by its legend central reputation. Though Pfeiffer is certifiably irresistible, it is a show biz drama of real wit and tangible emotion, a vehicle as good as its leading actors.
Pfeiffer is its centerpiece, but not its star - the stars would be Beau and Jeff Bridges, brothers playing brothers with a rivalry we'd like to think of as being autobiographical. In the film, they are Frank and Jack Baker, a piano playing musical duo who has survived on the same cabaret act for fifteen years. On a mostly unchanging nightclub circuit for the entirety of their adult lives, their dueling piano gimmick has slowly but surely lost its edge, their venues dropping in size, their money dwindling. As the film opens, they've hit an all-time low, and doom seems to be waiting in the wings.
But Frank, always the more enthusiastic of the two, decides it might be wise to add a lady singer to the mix - while it's easy for audiences to ignore background instrumentals, it's next to impossible to resist the wiles of a torchy crooner. Jack, albeit reluctantly, agrees, and they hold auditions that prove to be almightily disastrous. Thirty-some singers come by to showcase their worth, but not one of them can carry a tune.
That all changes when the disheveled Susie Diamond (Pfeiffer) stumbles onto the scene, almost two hours late and catching the brothers after they've all but decided to give up. Frank isn't impressed by her lack of timeliness, but Jack is intrigued - they let her perform a number, and, what do you know? She can sing. She's hired on the spot, and soon after does the brotherly act start to really take off. Venues begin to increase in size and in class. But the toned-down rift between the Bakers starts to inflame when an attraction between Susie and Jack becomes apparent.
"The Fabulous Baker Boys" is a compelling spin on the family-in-show-business storyline, taking the conventions of what we've come to know (singer causes turmoil within the act, act temporarily breaks up, act works things out and gets back together) and stirring in the necessarily freshness required for material of familiarity. First time writer/director Steve Kloves prefers snappy lines and melancholic truth to stock dialogue and sentimentality, and the stars, at their respective pinnacles, don't play types as much as they embody people we almost immediately understand.
And that's ultimately what makes "The Fabulous Baker Boys" the perceptively entertaining film that it is - it dramatically relies on a trio of characters and has the good sense to take the time to get to know them and to allow us to sympathize with them before throwing shattering hardships at them. The relationship between its fictional Bakers is the sort few show biz movies fail to characterize; where most opt for two-peas-in-a-pod harmony, an animosity exists that doesn't come as all too surprising. Jack is the more talented, the more handsome, but is also the more vulnerable; Frank, a family man with a wife and kids, deals with expenses and gigs but resents his brother's charisma and deficient appreciation. So of course Susie, who has acted as a high-class escort for most of her career, naturally broadens the tension between the men who hired her.
We'd like to think that the Bridges' mirror in their resentment of one another, and that's why "The Fabulous Baker Boys" is so effective. It creates discernible relationships with issues more complex than just romance, than just self-doubt, and so we come to decipher its characters before we necessarily like them (though we do like them an awful lot). The Bridges' are dependably excellent, fleshing out a relationship unlike their own as if it were like theirs, and Pfeiffer, as gushed over before, is superb; seeing her croon "Making Whoopee" atop Jack's piano dressed in a slinky red velvet dress is what movies are made for.
And maybe "The Fabulous Baker Boys" was made for Michelle Pfeiffer - the screenplay's marvelous, but would it bear the same corporeal energy without her? Hardly; she's the cherry at the top of a celluloid sundae that makes it more than just a great film. See her here and you'll want to see her in every movie.
February 19, 2016
Fabulous "Fabulous Baker Boys". Magic.
October 31, 2015
Great, well performed, film, starring the Bridges brothers and Michelle Pfeiffer. When the performing brothers' bookings dry, they hire a singer (Pfieffer) who rejuvenates their fortunes. Clever and witty.
July 10, 2015
A nice, quiet film with really great performances. Michelle Pfeiffer is dazzling during her musical scenes and her scenes with Jeff Bridges are lovely. Beau Bridges is wonderful and I'm surprised he missed out on many nominations while Pfeiffer took all the awards. It's got a great score and a nice look but the story was a little slow pacing wise but it is still a really nice movie
May 11, 2012
The kind of sexy and slow movie that makes you glad to be alive
½ May 27, 2015
The acting is quite good, especially Micheller Pfeiffer, but the movie isn't memorable and doesn't bring much in the sense of drama. Although it did make me think that movies like these, which are just straight across dramatic stories, would never be made these days, or at least not made by the studios.
½ May 3, 2015
Charming. Funny. Loved it. Surprised how subtly amazing Jeff bridges was. Cringed when he called my Michelle a slut.
½ April 18, 2015
The type of movie that really picks up steam as it goes along after a slow start.
January 10, 2015
The real life Bridges brothers are the balls. Younger brother Jeff as the hardnosed, chain smoking, womaniser and the older Beau as the cheesy family man who holds the failing double act together. Catwoman aside Pfeiffer is at her most-sexiest in a red dress on top of a piano singing "Makin' Whoopee". If you didn't cream your togs during that scene then you really need to question your sexuality.
December 13, 2014
One of the best movies about musicians! Jeff and Beau Bridges are fantastic! Michelle Pfeiffer gives one of the sexiest, best performances I have seen by an actress in my life! Great piano, Jazz , piano score and awesome music! Dark, strong and powerful! One of the top 25 movies of the 80's!
November 20, 2014
***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***
April 17, 2014
In one word, magical...
June 7, 2008
Quite simply the best film I have ever seen. The atmosphere is perfect. The cast are exemplary. The story is at once romantic, real, the music is brilliant; heart breaking and heart mending. Funny, tender and sexy without being gratuitous.
November 5, 2006
wow what a movie......i have just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch.....its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie.....i think that jeff bridges, michelle pieiffer, beau bridges, ellie raab, jennifer tilly, xander berkeley, steve alterman, play good roles/parts throughout this movie.....i think that the director of this drama/romance/musical/performing arts movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect thoruhgout this movie.....i think that Michelle Pfeiffer was great thorughout this movie......its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie......i think that this is a really well written/acted/directed movie 2 watch.......i think that this is a really well directed movie 2 watch i think that this is a good romance movie 2 watch.......i think that both jeff bridges/beau bridges were great as the baker boys in this movie........i think that todd jeffries was good thorughout this movie......i think that this is a really enjoyable movie 2 watch its so really well acted its so good 2 watch......i think that Michelle Pfeiffer was absolutley brilliant throughout this movie....i think that the fight scene between the brothers was good thorughout this movie.....i think that this is a really enjoyable movie 2 watch its got a good cast throughout this movie i think that this is a good romance movie 2 watch.....i think that this is an enjoyable movie 2 watch with a great cast thorughout this movie
September 11, 2013
Um ótimo roteiro, direção firme de Steve Kloves e atuações fascinantes de Michelle Pfeiffer e Jeff Bridges.
½ September 2, 2013
Like Roger Ebert said, Fabulous Baker Boys is the historical proof why Michelle Pfeiffer could have become a superstar. Besides presenting a character of substance with principles, flesh and blood, Pfeiffer's singing here is equally admirable. The Bridges siblings are great here too. With distinctive differences, Beau Bridges' character is more receptive, though Jeff shows he is the right choice to play frustrated musician, like what he did 20 years later in Crazy Heart.
Super Reviewer
August 15, 2013
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.
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