These Old Broads Reviews
This television film naturally got more attention than it normally would have due to its impressive star wattage (hey, the ladies may not have been at their peak any longer, but they are still beloved, and especially in the States their names invoke greatness and glamour, and they never stopped working). Added to that the film marks the first 'reunion' of Debby Reynolds with the man-eater who stole her husband decades earlier, Elizabeth Taylor.
The whole juicy scandal is of course part of Hollywood lore. Mike Todd, Taylor's third husband died in a plane crash and the distraught widow & his best friend, Mike Fisher, bonded over their mutual grief, falling in love soon after. Romantic enough, except that Fisher had a wife, Little Debbie Reynolds, and two kids at home. The ensuing tabloid scandal painted Taylor as a femme fatale and actually helped her career, while cementing Debbie as the All American Good Girl, helping her career just as much. The only loser in the long run was Eddie Fisher really, since the part of cheating bastard who leaves his babies cannot be turned into an asset by any spin doctor. In reality there seems ample proof that the marriage was pretty much over anyway, and that the studio used it to advance both their stars, and they ran with it, playing up what was at the most a tepid dislike to become cold burning hatred.
So the reunion of the two ladies did raise some interest, and the film handily plays on this, by letting them have a tête-à-tête during which they talk about how Taylor's character once stole the husband of Reynold's character. A bit on the nose perhaps, but you have to please your audience.
Anyway, is this film all that great? No, not really, but it's far from bad, with actors who can always make the best of it, and think of Joan Collins' acting chops what you want, she does know how to play a cougar slut. Taylor's part is very small & her character is in bed most of the time, as she was even then not in the greatest health, but I liked seeing her as a Yenta with a thick accent instead of the sophisticated voice I'm used to from her.
The musical numbers were the greatest disappointment, I really do wish they had put more of an effort into that, because it could have been pretty smashing. Still, they had their fun moments, most of them involving Reynolds, who may look like a dumpling now, but she's still got Little Debbie in there somewhere.
The plot does wear a little thin at times, and there's a limit to how many cat-fights I can watch and still be entertained, but all in all, I'm glad I saw this film, I'm glad it was made, and if you don't set your expectations too excessively high, I'd recommend it for a fun evening on the couch.