Up Close & Personal Reviews
A very strange title for a film starring Redford, who only looks good these days from a long distance away. The film at first seems to be chauvinistic and predictable with Pfeiffer as an inexperienced beauty queen coming to work for TV news producer Redford at a Miami TV Station. Redford takes her under wing and "makes" her into a credible news reporter. Next thing you know, she's at the top of her field (plus Redford's girlfriend to boot), and gets a lead reporter job up in Philadelphia. The question is - can she function without Redford as her mentor and guiding light? What is most pleasing is that the humdrum beginning eventually takes shape and casts aside its sexist foundation about halfway through the film when Pfeiffer gets trapped in the middle of a prison riot. The writing and interest level continues to improve right through to the semi-melodramatic ending. Give it a fair chance to entertain you and Up Close will deliver - call it A Broadcast News Star Is Born. QUEER QUOTIENT: I just don't get this sick breeder fantasy thing that keeps pairing up Pfeiffer with old farts like Redford, Sean Connery, and Jack Nicholson. Is it some sort of grandfather-granddaughter fetish that the elderly Hollywood studio executives are trying to satisfy? Yuck!
POST-REVIEW 4/19/10: Years later I found out this film started as a biopic of journalist Jessica Savitch, though the finished product bears little to no resemblance to her life. Turns out the screenplay just kept getting more and more mutilated by the producers and the studio. Co-screenwriter John Gregory Dunne wrote a book about the experience; the book is called "Monster: Living Off The Big Screen." Kind of says it all, eh? I think this makes me like the film a little bit less, though it's not my job to criticize the process, only the product.