My Favorite Year - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

My Favorite Year Reviews

Page 1 of 14
½ May 7, 2016
A tad predictable towards the end but the ride is made enjoyable by outstanding comedic performances led by the always mesmerizing O'Toole. A stronger director would have taken My Favorite Year to greater heights.
½ March 15, 2016
A funny and charming movie set during the early days of TV, with a brilliant performance from Peter O'Toole as a faded matinee idol. The unlikely friendship between O'Toole and a naive young writer, played by Mark Linn-Baker, is surprisingly moving.
½ January 13, 2016
A few years ago I saw a musical theater production of this story, so it was kind of odd to see just how similar this film is to that stage play. It takes a fun look at the behind-the-scenes life of a 1950s live variety show. There's a great deal of humor mostly brought by Peter O'Toole who plays the part of an aging action movie star who has difficulty staying out of trouble when he's off camera. Joseph Bologna is also entertaining as the star of the variety show, because he is basically the polar opposite of O'Toole's character. He is a tough customer and completely in control behind the scenes of his show, but when the cameras start to roll he loses his cool. Mark Linn-Baker is supposed to be the protagonist in the middle of all this chaos, but he kind of gets overshadowed by all the big personalities around him (including his own family.) This works, though, because that is exactly what should be happening to his character. There are a ton of other great character actors littered throughout the cast, and I found the overall film to be funny and definitely a breeze to watch. I guess my biggest problem is that, since I knew the entire plot coming in because of the musical, I thought the movie was just a little forgettable. In a matter of months I will probably struggle to remember which parts came from the stage and which parts came from the screen. But if you are interested in the story, this is a fun film that I think will entertain the whole family.
½ December 5, 2014
O'Toole's character could very well have been O'Toole himself during the 70's. Decidedly amusing.
½ November 27, 2014
Utterly enjoyable for Peter O'Toole's wonderful performance.
½ November 22, 2014
First Errol Flynn was the consummate Hollywood action hero, and then he was the consummate Hollywood has-been. The substance abuse, the wrecked relationships, the legal scandals; by the end of his life he was a guy who needed a lot of rehabilitating. "My Favorite Year" is a posthumous rehabilitation of Flynn, and it is also a sweet and funny tall tale about what his redemption might have looked like had it happened during his lifetime. Flynn's actual appearance on the 1950s variety show where Mel Brooks was a young writer came and went without incident, but in "My Favorite Year" that forgettable television moment is reimagined as one huge, crazy, boozy incident worthy of Peter O'Toole in his hellraising days. O'Toole infuses all of Flynn stand-in "Alan Swann"'s lines, every flourish of his hands, every drunken stagger, with a precise mixture of charm and pain.

The story is mostly a buddy comedy of the sort that thrives on the emotional closeness of its characters. Maybe a supremely irresponsible person like Swann, whose insecurities cause him to limit his relationships to the categories of one-night stands and autograph sessions, wouldn't really tolerate the presence of a straight-laced worrywart like the Mel Brooks stand-in for days and nights on end. But in the movies, opposites attract, and here they make a good pair. The young writer gets to meet his hero, and although Swann is a case in point of why it's not always best to do that, the movie argues that the hero is always there, in a way, inside the less-than-heroic has-been. Swann is self-destructive, yes, but with each new failure comes a chance for one more last hurrah, one more horse to jump on and ride into the sunset, one more crowd to win over. O'Toole is heartbreaking when he shows Swann's weakness and vulnerability, and this makes each new triumph, however modest, all the more inspiring. At the high points, the young writer is the necessary sidekick, a witness to a performance that exists solely to be seen and applauded, and when the cycle returns to darkness and doubt he is the hero's conscience. It's an old formula, but it works.

Between the party-crashing, horse-stealing vignettes, there is a by-the- book romance storyline and an organized crime farce. Both are simple fare, but they do a lot to raise the stakes of Swann's television appearance and to set an amiable atmosphere through a vibrant supporting cast and obvious but endearing jokes and set-pieces. The movie's various threads all crash together in a big finish that is predictable, and not believable, but very satisfying, entertaining, and moving-not unlike a great Errol Flynn movie.

Replete with tributes to Flynn's filmography, "My Favorite Year" is a must-see for fans of the Australian-born swashbuckler. "Captain Blood," "Dodge City," and "The Adventures of Robin Hood" are repeatedly and lovingly referenced, under thinly-disguised alternate titles, and the iconic scene from the ending of "Robin Hood" is recreated in astonishing detail, complete with a Basil Rathbone lookalike.
July 11, 2014
Have seen it and I love it to bits
March 20, 2014
I wonder why critics regarded it as a great movie. It lacks everything, even O'toole lacks his charms.
February 26, 2014
"My Favorite Year" cleverly depicts early television shows of the 1950's and follows charming Benjy Stone (Mark Linn-Baker) junior comedy writer for the "Comedy Calvacade" and his promise to keep his movie hero, former swashbuckler Alan Swann and guest star, out of trouble. Swann, wonderfully played by Peter O'Toole is a washed out movie star infamous for his drinking and making unsavory headlines. This leads to some very funny scenarios as Stone works overtime to watch over his colorful hero. There are also wonderful heartwarming scenes between Benjy and Swann and both quickly find out they have things in common. Benjy is embarrassed by some of his relatives and wants to hide his mother's offbeat marriage. Swann shares his secret of Tess, a daughter he has never visited. "My Favorite Year" has a wonderful cast including Lainie Kazan as Stone's mother and Joseph Bologna as King Kaiser, the star of the television show. After a mob boss wants the sketch parody of him scratched from the show, accidents start to happen. Keiser refuses to do away with the characterization for the show and the outcome is hilarious as it enfolds live on the show. Hiding his insecurities especially around K.C.Downing (Jessica Harper) a coworker Benjy has a crush on, Swann gives Benjy romantic advice. These two unlikely characters bond over the course of the film. Reminiscent of shows like "Your Show of Shows with Sid Ceasar," Screenplay writer, Dennis Palumbo was inspired to write this enjoyable screenplay when he found out producer Mel Brooks worked as a comedy writer for the show and had to watch over movie star Errol Flynn. "My Favorite Year" takes place in 1954 when television shows were shot live. This leads to some very funny scenes especially when Swann finds out. Swann, use to doing several movie takes, panics and leaves the studio just minutes before the show opens. "I'm not an actor, I'm a movie star!" Richard Benjamin's directorial debut is a hit with a wonderful nostaligic feel to it. "My favorite Year" is a joy to watch from start to finish!
½ January 24, 2014
Such a delicious Peter O'Toole performance, Oscar-worthy (an nominated - but lost to Ben Kingsly for "Ghandi" so that's OK). The rest of the actors are so well cast and the script is bright and funny and just delightful. This movie is simply comfort food.
January 24, 2014
Fond goodbye, Peter O'Toole.
½ January 22, 2014
My Favorite Year is an excellent film. It is about a dissolute matinee idol is slated to appear on a live TV variety show. Peter O'Toole and Mark Linn-Baker give fantastic performances. The screenplay is well written. Richard Benjamin did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the humor. My Favorite Year is a must see.
½ January 18, 2014
A fun NYC look into the tv comedy productions for nbc at 30 Rockefeller plaza. It had some dry humor and odd slapstick, but it captured the true endearing feeling of New Yorkers and included a hilarious trip to Brooklyn.
January 7, 2014
Loved it. Great classic watch with a great performance from O'Toole. Can definitely be seen as a model for comedies coming out today.
December 31, 2013
One of my favorite movies with my favorite actor, who proves he can do comedy as well as drama with grace, charm and panache. The terrific cast and script carry on in the same spirit. One of the best!
December 22, 2013
This is the way heroes should be! Loved the performance given by O'Toole.
½ December 21, 2013
After the passing of Peter O'Toole, and seeing various clips of his acting and interviews I decided to dive into his filmography and see what tickled my fancy. So when I saw an 80's comedy that was a tribute to the golden age of TV/Movies where he plays a character based one of my favorite actors of all time, I was sold. I Loved this thing. The sharp wit of the script made me glow. The characters from the major ones such as as Alan Swann, to very minor ones like Lil the costume lady, i latched on to all of them. I really dug Mark Linn-Baker as an up and coming writer given the task baby sitting O'Toole. He is the heart of this film. He has a speech towards the end that is so perfect. This guy LOVES films, LOVES the roles that Swann played and it ozzes out of him without it ever being hero worship or keeping him from telling the guy when he's being lame . And if he is the heart then O'Toole is the soul. You are hooked on his every line,glued to his every action. This role is fantastic, funny and tragic, charming and pitiful, and he NAILS it. It's romantic and cynical all at the same time. This is easily going on 'one of my favorite movies ever' list.
½ December 15, 2013
Sure my rating is heavily influenced because I'm a fan of Mel Brooks, Sid Caesar, and nostalgic for the golden age of television, but who isn't? O'Tool proves that an Oscar for comedy is deserved (and often passed over).
December 15, 2013
One of my favorite movies of all time. It's just the right combination of comedy, snark, realistic cynicism, and hopeless, romantic heroism. Top that with a tour de force performance by Peter O'Toole and an amazing ensemble performance the likes of which we haven't seen in decades, and this is a movie that ranks up there with Casablanca for me.
October 21, 2013
So funny. The musical is good too
Page 1 of 14