Rules Don't Apply Reviews
In one corner you have the story of a good Christian upstart who wants to be an actress but just needs a push of confidence!
Then there's her driver who's also a good Christian upstart who wants to get into real estate and make something of himself and get with aforementioned young woman.
Then they both give into temptation and get hot and heavy and chaste and realize. No- there's too much at stake here. You have a steady girlfriend at home and I'm a virgin!
And you might be like wow what a compelling and innocent love story. But no wait, in come Warren Beatty doing his best Howard Hughes impersonation and SURPRISE this entire movie is about Howard Hughes!! He literally sticks his dick in the virgin chick, hires the good Christian boy as his assistant, totally fucks up THAT budding romance, and also does a buncha wacky shit because he's CrAzY HoWaRD~*~*~*!!!
Like, dude, Warren. Pick a film. Either your lame romance movie with best-part-of-Hail-Caesar Alden Ehrenreich and Ms Eyebrows or just redo The Aviator. Can't have both, dawg.
DVD Movie Review: Rules Don't Apply
Date Viewed: March 18 2017
Directed By Warren Beatty (Heaven Can Wait, Reds, Dick Tracy and Bulworth)
Screenplay By Warren Beatty, Story By Warren Beatty and Bo Goldman
Starring: Warren Beatty, Lily Collins, Alden Ehrenreich, Annette Bening, Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, Haley Bennett, Candice Bergen, Dabney Coleman, Steve Coogan, Megan Hilty, Ed Harris, Oliver Platt, Martin Sheen, Paul Sorvino, Taissa Farmiga, Amy Madigan, Paul Schneider, Chace Crawford, Patrick Fischler, Ron Perkins and Peter Mackenzie.
Warren Beatty's "Rules Don't Apply" is another love letter to Hollywood's golden years but it's not as witty or smart as the Coen brothers' "Hail, Caesar!" from last year. It has finely-tuned performances from the two young leads and it's nice to see Warren Beatty back on the big screen but "Rules Don't Apply" feels like a recycled version of Hollywood's golden age. Don't get me wrong, I love these type of movies but Beatty who makes his first screen appearance in 15 years as well as his first writing and directing effort since 1998's "Bulworth" never makes the case into why we should care about this story which is in tune to those classic Hollywood love stories from six decades ago.
Mostly set around Hollywood in 1958, the story follows Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins), a small town beauty queen and devout baptist from Virginia who dreams of becoming a famous actress. She and her strict mother, Lucy (Beatty's wife, Annette Bening) get picked up her personal driver, Frank Forbes (Alden Ehrenreich) and he drives them to her new lavish home which was paid for the aging billionaire Howard Hughes (Beatty) and his associates.
Marla wants to know more about her upcoming screen test but she has yet to meet Hughes and her strict mother warns her about Hughes' past history with younger women and how other men treat women in the Hollywood industry. When Marla finally does meet with Hughes, he just has one rule, young actresses who are put in his contract are not allowed to have imitate relationships with Hughes' employees.
As Frank enters into a business venture with Hughes, he starts having affections for Marla but their personal relationship has two difficult obstacles, Hughes' rule of not getting imitate with any his fellow actresses and plus he has a fiancée (Taissa Farmiga) waiting for him back home. The relationship between Frank and Marla despite it being screwball and formulaic is well told, the costumes are nice to look at and the look and scenery of late 50's Hollywood is impressive but Warren Beatty is kind of a sour thumb as Howard Hughes. He nails his seductive charm and pure wittiness but what's missing in Beatty's performance is substance. Leonardo DiCaprio had substance when he played Hughes in "The Aviator" but sadly that's not case with Beatty in this movie.
"Rules Don't Apply" also has a big piñata of recognizable players including Matthew Broderick, Alec Baldwin, Candice Bergen, Steve Coogan, Ed Harris, Martin Sheen, Oliver Platt, Paul Sorvino and even Dabney Coleman but several of them don't have much to do or add anything to the story. Alden Ehrenreich who will be playing Han Solo in a future Star Wars Anthology film is suave and likeable as the chauffeur who falls in love with an aspiring actress and Lily Collins who I criticized for a long time is actually gives a fine performance as Marla whose religious and working beliefs are put to the test when she enters into a forbidden relationship with her personal driver. Lily Collins may have been the daughter of famous singer Phil Collins but the real-life Hollywood establishment didn't have the heart to cast her in good roles so she was placed in crappy garbage such as "Abduction", "Priest", "Mirror Mirror" and "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones".
I admire Warren Beatty for coming back and for making a love story that takes place in the heart of Hollywood's golden age but "Rules Don't Apply" feels too long and it should've been a more deeper and satisfying movie than this.