John Van Druten (play)
|Cast||Jacqueline Bisset Candice Bergen David Selby Hart Bochner Steven Hill Meg Ryan Matt Lattanzi Daniel Faraldo Nicole Eggert Joe Maross Kres Mersky Cloyce Morrow Cheryl Robinson Allan Warnick Ann Risley Damion Scheller Haley Fox Fay Kanin Tara Simpson Herb Graham|
|Awards||1981 San Francisco International Film Festival|
|Plot||Liz and Merry Noel become friends as college roommates and their friendship endures over the years. Liz becomes a respected "serious" novelist. Merry Noel marries, has a daughter and writes, too: "trash" fiction which becomes enormously successful. Their story begins in college and jumps ahead some years at a time to show their relationship with each other and those in their orbits as they grow and mature.... see Rich and Famous on IMDb|
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|The idea of pairing two of the hottest contemporary actresses with a Golden Age Hollywood director--in a remake of an old Bette Davis vehicle, no less--makes Rich and Famous a curiosity straddling two ages. Jacqueline Bisset, then at the height of her sex-symbol status, stars with Candice Bergen, who was morphing from glamourpuss to comedienne in the wake of her hilarious Starting Over turn. They play the roles first essayed by Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins in the 1943 Old Acquaintance: Bisset is the serious writer, Bergen the flighty married pal whose trashy novels become bestsellers. The friendship between the two women, rivals and confidantes, remains as their professional and romantic circumstances change. George Cukor, who directed his share of similarly themed "women's pictures" during his long Hollywood career, made his final film here, creating a civilized tone to support the conversations between the two women (and indulging in one cheeky "Mile High Club" sequence on a plane). The movie played like a breath of fresh air in 1981, especially in the way it gave a couple of underappreciated actresses a chance to shine, although it does look a bit dated now. In particular, the males in the film (David Selby as Bergen's hubby, Hart Bochner as a Rolling Stone reporter) are notably underwhelming compared to the leading ladies. (A young Meg Ryan pops up for a while as Bergen's daughter.) The memorable final sequence feels earned, even more by the actresses than by the movie itself --Robert Horton|
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