Big Business (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Big Business (1988)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Thanks to a mix-up at birth, two sets of twins are separated and grow up in radically different social circles. The four baby girls grow up to be Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin-and Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin. One of the Midlers is a ruthless New York CEO, while one of the Tomlins is her air-headed "save the whales" business partner. Thousands of miles away in a Southern industrial town, a blue-collar Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin work for a company that the white-collar Midler plans to devour in a hostile takeover. The "poor" Midler and Tomlin head to New York to argue against the takeover, inevitably getting mixed up with the "rich" Midler and Tomlin. Three of the four twins team up to save the small-town company, while CEO Midler remains as nastily greedy as ever. Clear enough?

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Cast

Bette Midler
as Sadie Shelton
Lily Tomlin
as Rose Shelton
Fred Ward
as Roone Dimmick
Edward Herrmann
as Graham Sherbourne
Michele Placido
as Fabio Alberici
Barry Primus
as Michael
Deborah Rush
as Binky Shelton
Nicolas Coster
as Hunt Shelton
Patricia Gaul
as Iona Ratliff
J.C. Quinn
as Garth Ratliff
Norma MacMillan
as Nanny Lewis
Joe Grifasi
as Desk Clerk
John Vickery
as Hotel Manager
Lucy Webb
as Wenona
Roy Brocksmith
as Dr. Parker
Eddie Junior
as Young Harlan
Ritch Brinkley
as Mayor Bill Finker
Tony Mockus Jr.
as Board Member #1
Carmen Argenziano
as Board Member #2
Maureen McVerry
as Hilda/Rose Photo Double
Dan Chambers
as Male Staffer
Lois De Banzie
as Edwardian Room Hostess
Al Mancini
as Waiter
Fred Parnes
as Bellboy
Andi Chapman
as Sadie's Secretary
Chick Hearn
as Sports Announcer
Troy Damien
as Hank Ratliff
Ryan Francis
as Merle Ratliff
Melanie Doctors
as Sadie Photo Double
Louis Rukeyser
as Taxi Victim
Kymberly Goldman
as Triplet No. 1
Michelle Goldman
as Triplet No. 2
Traci Goldman
as Triplet No. 3
Crystal Field
as Bag Lady
Everett Quinton
as Window Dresser
Sandy Davis
as Saleslady in Dress Shop
Natalie Dolishny
as Moramax Employee #1
Nancy Lazarus
as Moramax Employee #2
Shirley Mitchell
as Stockholder
Charles J. Middleton
as Stockholder #2
Irving Hellman
as Stockholder #3
Judy Armstrong
as YMCA Desk Clerk
Tom La Grua
as Cab Driver
Brianne Sommers
as Woman with Whippet
Alice Gruenberg
as Attractive Woman with Yorkies
Jane Butenoff
as Professional Hooker in Times Square
Louise Yaffe
as Director's Mother in Lobby
Max Raven
as Charlie
Charles Middleton
as 2nd Stockholder
Michael Gross
as Dr. Jay Marshall
John Hancock
as Older Harlan
Lewis Arquette
as Mr. Stokes
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Critic Reviews for Big Business

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (2)

an oddity of incessant proportions, a comedy with few laughs but many unwarranted chuckles, which lives and dies on the notion its silly premise will at least be vague enough to provide its actors with great opportunities to improvise.

Full Review… | June 29, 2013
Cinemaphile.org

Underrated farce ... Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin are terrific.

Full Review… | November 9, 2011
Creative Loafing

Slightly funny Tomlin, Midler comedy.

March 24, 2006
Video-Reviewmaster.com

Fred Ward plays dumb hicks a lot, but never with quite this much comedic energy.

February 27, 2004

Double the Tomlin & Midler cannot save silly doppelganger gimmickry.

July 26, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

Audience Reviews for Big Business

½

This movie is a real must-see, especially if you are a fan of either Bette Midler or Lily Tomlin. Throughout the story you're either smiling, laughing or having a good old giggle, it's an original storyline (how often do we see that!), with subtle themes of strong, wholesome values - not so much so that its offensive or boring though. If you want to smile and spend a fun evening in, then this is the movie for you - watch out for the mirror scene with Bette Midler, silly but very funny. Two great actresses with style, a sense of fun and a lot of talent, pull this movie off to make it one of my all time, favourite DVD's. Enjoy!

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

½

Absolutely hilarious farce about a set of twins who are mixed up at birth. One set is raised in wealthy NYC, the other on a poor southern farm. Well-written comedy of errors is consistently quick and witty throughout its brief 97 min running time. Lily Tomlin and Bette Midler work surprisingly well together under Jim "Airplane!" Abrahams' skillful direction.

Mark Hobin
Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer

I like this movie. I know it's more chick flick than anything else but I thought it was fun. The effects used when all were on screen at the same time were really good for back then.

Jason Spencer
Jason Spencer

Super Reviewer

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