Friday, January 27, 2017
OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE (1987)
Directed By: Arthur Hiller
Written By: Leslie Dixon
Cinematography By: David M. Walsh
Editor: Tom Rolf
Cast: Bette Midler, Shelly Long, Peter Coyote, Robert Prosky, George Carlin, John Schuck Anthony Heald, Jerry Zaks, Diana Bellamy, Florence Stanley, Christopher McDonald, Robert Pastorelli
Lauren and Sandy are total opposites who end up in the same acting class and who don't know they are sharing a lover. When he disappears under mysterious circumstances they refuse to believe that he is dead and are the only ones who are searching for him across several states. Ending up in the western US., they discover he had other interests as they find their lives in danger.
Another high concept comedy where it seems one of the major reasons the film was made was to put two stars on screen together. It's a buddy comedy where not only are the actresses opposite in styles but also in on screen personalities and even though it is mainly a comedy. It mixes in an lame espionage plot line.
Which gives the film excuses to have there be misunderstandings, bikinis and situations where the two characters bond as they have to depend on one another and each others skills to survive and get out of trouble. Which is where the films strengths come out. As the actresses have a strong chemistry. They work well off of each other and are funny in their roles. The two leads have a great chemistry and it works well for a female buddy comedy.The kind they need to make more of.
Next to the film BEACHES at the time this was one of the Bigger and better performances for me in Bette Middler's canon. As it took me awhile to finally view or at least discover more adult oriented material such as DOWN & OUT ON BEVERLY HILLS and RUTHLESS PEOPLE. This is another film that made me fall in love with her talent and personality. Even as she never sings in this film. This film really introduced me to the whirlwind that is her. It was shocking to find out she was pregnant while making this film.
Shelly Long is on this film and next to NIGHT SHIFT. This might be one of her better films and performances. Even though she feels like she is playing a variation of Her character Diane from the television show CHEERS. It works for her character and the film.
Though Shelly Long is a likeable enough actress. Over the years she seems to o to be able to play a certain amount of roles as far as range. Now while the films vary as well as the characters she always seemed to play more upper crust types. Which she could still make a career out of, but strangely seems to have started working less. As the last major film role I remember her playing was Carol Brady in the BRADY BUNCH movies.
The film also has Peter Coyote in the cast as the villain. In the 1980's he was an actor who was more of a character actor and as the sympathetic detective in the movie THE LEGEND OF BILLIE JEAN. Seeing him in this film as the conniving evil con. It was quite shocking and made an impression. As I was amazed that an actor could play sympathetic in one film and hated in the next. The film is enjoyable and I will admit to having a weakness for the film. As it was something I would watch numerous times. Watching it recently while obviously dated it still felt fun
Now this film is certainly dated, but would be surprisingly easy to update and make a remake of, though would be more technical and less simple. As half the charm of the film seems that just like the situations they find themselves in. It seems like the writers are making the stuff up as the film goes along that is how random it seems.
As the film intensifies in the second half. It doesn't feel as fun as the first half in New York. Though in the second half we are introduced to George Carlin's character. Who brings on some more of the fun and helps salvage the second half. By being as funny as the two stars.
The film is labor necessarily noteworthy and filmmaking wise. It isn't something to really even notice, but the film is Gina me rather simple entertainment that is too racy for children, but watched in more of a modern day context. Isn't as racy or adult as it might have been back in the day.