Funny Girl - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Funny Girl Reviews

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June 14, 2016
This bio musical comedy, loosely based on a true story, enables Streisand to shine in the lead role. The first half is particularly fine, featuring some catchy songs, with many witty lines and funny scenes. The chemistry between the two leads here is also very good. Although the film does slow a bit towards the end, it is never boring, and is a film that can be watched and enjoyed over again. 1001
February 27, 2016

The life of Fanny Brice, famed comedienne and entertainer of the early-1900s. We see her rise to fame as a Ziegfield girl, subsequent career and her personal life, particularly her relationship with Nick Arnstein.

Entertaining, especially the stage performance scenes. Barbara Streisand absolutely shines during these scenes. Funny, and with some impressive singing too. The remainder is reasonably good and engaging. Does get fairly schmaltzy at times though, and the mid-to-late section is quite dry as it concentrates on the Brice-Arnstein relationship.

As mentioned, Barbara Streisand is great during the live show scenes. She is fine during the other scenes too, especially as there are some musical numbers thrown in every now and again (it is a semi-musical). Streisand won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1969 for her performance (shared with Katharine Hepburn for The Lion in Winter).

Good work too from Omar Sharif as Nick Arnstein.
½ February 24, 2016
Funny, sincere and entertaining.
½ January 18, 2016
I probably would have given this film 5 stars after seeing it when it first came out, but it has dated. It's far too long (I had to take an intermission break) and the production is for the most part uninspired and pedestrian ( due to Wyler's direction). But Streisand is loveable as Fanny, and magnificent - and Omar Sharif charming as Nicky. The amount of talent on and off-screen in putting this all together is stupendous, but when the songs virtually disappear after the intermission and the marriage story takes centre stage, it loses its musical purpose and drops away. Worth seeing for Babs' tour de force.
½ January 14, 2016
Such a memorable, fantastic performance from Barbara Streisand! The movie has a good, occasionally wonderful first half while the second half drowns in boring, dull melodrama. Streisand lets her star-light hangover this parade through-out!
½ December 7, 2015
The first half is a load of fun, particularly (and perhaps solely) because Streisand performs some of her most iconic songs. Truly, the songs carry the film, as the rather flimsy plot leaves quite a lot to be desired. Fanny Brice fans may be disappointed since this deals minimally with her career and focuses instead on her romance with Nick Arnstein (which is not the most riveting subject matter, I must say, nor is it the most interesting aspect of Miss Brice's life). I was hoping this would capture some of Brice's iconic (and hilarious) moments as her famous radio character, Baby Snooks, but sadly it didn't. Instead, we see her dressed up as Snooks for about thirty seconds, and the film doesn't explain anything about the character or its cultural significance at the time. If you're looking for an informative biography of Fanny Brice or a comprehensive understanding of her career, you'll have to look elsewhere. Still, as entertainment, this is a solid piece that will no doubt thrill fans of the movie musical, and Streisand here gives some of her best performances. It's a bit over-long, but it's worth the watch.
December 6, 2015
Big budget brilliance. Even if you dislike Barbara Streisand, see THIS one.
Hilarious, touching, memorable.
Streisand is a revelation here.
The bloated parts are forgivable bc Babs is that good here - her signature role reprised from the Broadway stage.

Give it a bit too start - after the orchestra opening and beyond the title sequence.
Your patience will be rewarded.

5 out of 5 people...who need people..
October 31, 2015
Still one of the best.
½ September 12, 2015
A masterpiece. I'm not even that crazy about Barbara Streisand, but I was absolutely enchanted by her in this movie, and have been belting out the songs for days. How soon is too soon for viewing #2?!?
½ August 31, 2015
What a debut!!! Streisand is spectacular in this and Omar Sharif is dazzlingly charming. A great combination of talents.
½ August 24, 2015
There are some great songs in this, and some good laughs, and some really fun scenes, but, man, the second act drags! This is a good movie that could have been a great one with a little more trimming.
½ July 2, 2015
A really fun musical with a delightful and charming performance from Barbra Streisand. I've never been a die hard fan of Streisand though I have liked her work but after seeing this and Hello Dolly a few weeks ago, I get the hype. Omar Sharif and Walter Pidgeon were also good and Anne Francis was great. The production design, art direction, costumes, sound, and adapted screenplay were all terrific as was William Wyler's direction and all the performances were mostly showstoppers. It did start to ramble on and slow down as Streisand and Sharif's relationship started to build but overall it was exciting and fun to watch
Super Reviewer
July 1, 2015
Epic freaking musical about a singing comedienne wedging her way into her big break. The beginning is a bit slow, and I tired of Fanny's repetitive self-deprecation about her lack of traditional beauty, but Barbra Streisand is sassy and ballsy, and my word, is Omar Sharif not the most dashing and earnest paramour? He says "I love you" so shyly yet tenderly! Nicky's love and admiration are so soaring, and that's what makes the main relationship conflict of Fanny outgrowing Nicky and the show-stopping number "My Man" all the more tragic in a mere mortals sort of way.
½ June 16, 2015
I really enjoyed the first half of this film. It had great music, great actors, a great story but when the music stopped i kind of felt the whole movie stop as well, and it got very long and the story stopped being interesting, but what saved it was Barbara Streisand's amazing performance that had me laughing at one point and nearly moved to tears. After about 40 minutes of disaster it picks back up for a strong finale. I thought it was funny the resemblance of Rachel from Glee to Fanny Brice which made me like her all the more. Overall this is a good classic film that i can't wait to put on my shelf along with West Side Story and My Fair Lady.
Super Reviewer
May 28, 2015
Despite a tight and coherent film score, good singing, and a pleasantly avuncular performance by Pidgeon, "Funny Girl" is a real snoozefest. The only thing you'll find funny about this film is that you can't get your ticket refunded after you fall asleep in the middle of it.
½ May 24, 2015
Highly entertaining and beautiful transition of a Broadway play to the screen. And, one would be hard pressed to think of a greater cinematic debut performance than the one given here by Streisand.
April 13, 2015
Starring Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif and Walter Pidgeon. Only the ponderous length and sluggish pacing work against this musical biopic of Fanny Brice, brought to life brilliantly by Streisand, recreating her stage role. Good support from Sharif and Pidgeon, though this is Babs' show all the way. Directed by William Wyler.
February 25, 2015
"Show me an actress who isn't a personality and you'll show me a woman who isn't a star," declared Katharine Hepburn when asked about her smashing screen persona. Humble, no. Correct, yes. Take any legendary performer - Humphrey Bogart, Joan Crawford, Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe - and you will not only find a terrific actor but also a presence that could interrupt the breathing patterns of an entire room just by walking through a door. And if you don't inspire that same breathless room to immediately bow down in a we're not worthy "Wayne's World" dramatization, then you probably aren't a star.
Fortunately for us, fortunately for "Funny Girl," but unfortunately for the self-proclaimed icon herself, Katharine Hepburn, Barbra Streisand just so happens to be a star - a star that, incidentally, matched Hepburn's explosive performance in "The Lion in Winter" so well that the two ended up tying for the Oscar win. Now that "Funny Girl" and "The Lion in Winter" are nearly a half-century old, it's probably safe to say that Hepburn and Streisand are unofficial gods of the entertainment industry; but "Funny Girl" is the more important film, introducing the world to a new voice, a new actress, and yes, a new personality.
In the years since "Funny Girl," Streisand hasn't lost her bewitching zeal, but only a few of her following films have captured the same sort of youthful gusto of her debut. The early days of Babs, with roles in "What's Up, Doc?" and "The Owl and the Pussycat," bring lasting joy. Like many actresses that appeal to the Broadway inclined crowd, she is more fun to watch in quickly-paced adventures in comedy than sappy behemoths like "The Mirror Has Two Faces." "Funny Girl" is a snapshot of everything we've come to admire about Streisand - that immediate likability, that one-million-miles-an-hour comedic timing, those dramatic chops, and that voice. You can bet that the film itself is given the standard Hollywood musical treatment - but what isn't standard is the girl from New Yawk with charisma the size of Alaska and Texas put together.
"Funny Girl" is technically a true story: its leading character, Fanny Brice was, in fact, a famed Ziegfeld girl, and she was, in fact, married to Nicky Arnstein. But Streisand is such a ball-of-fire that we aren't paying much attention to Brice's accomplished (and melodramatic) life. Streisand demolishes every confine a characterization can bring. She's not so much playing Fanny Brice as she much as she is Fanny Brice. She doesn't act out a scene; she is the scene.
I suppose for the sake of a plot summary I should cover the basics so you know what you're getting into. The film travels across the life of Brice from the early 1900s to the beginnings of the 1920s, detailing her whirlwind (and lasting) relationship with show business and stormy marriage to gambler Nicky Arnstein (Omar Sharif). There's comedy and music and tear-jerking and romance and overtures and more hoohas that come along with the big-budgeted movie musical genre; "Funny Girl" has all the makings to become an epic production of the "Sound of Music" class. But Streisand keeps the film from getting whisked away into unremarkable giganticness. The film is about her, not its supporting characters, photography, or set design. Roger Ebert noted that everything other than Streisand is mostly untextured and artless. While this is partially true, I think, on the other hand, that if Streisand wasn't the star, suddenly the supporting characters, photography, and set design would seem bigger-than-life, extraordinary even. But she's like a blinding light from outer space running around a soundstage; you can only wonder why the items surrounding her don't spontaneously combust.
I'm not a part of the devoted fan base that refers to Streisand exclusively as "Babs" and lists "Evergreen" as their theme song, but I am a part of the fan base that recognizes her as one of cinema's most unique and versatile actresses. "Funny Girl" is a loud and proud musical, and Streisand is the microphone.
February 1, 2015
I had a tooth ache and was a bit sleepy watching this film so it's hard for me to give a fair review. But I will say it is a classic, not as frothy as it might at first appear, and has the most powerful final scene of any movie. Barbara Streisand knows how to control the screen better than any actress of the era.
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