Director: William Wyler
Original Release: 1968
My Overall Rating: 4 stars out of 5
That's not to say Funny Girl doesn't have other things going for it - quite the contrary. It's the sort of movie that reminds us the medium could dazzle with set and costumes in an era well before CGI. The acting is good - particularly Streisand, who won an Oscar - the music is fun and the story compelling. The film was adapted from the stage musical of the same name, the original tale based loosely on the true-life story of entertainer Fanny Brice (Streisand) and her marriage with gambler Nicky Arnstein (Sharif). Fanny, bursting with talent but painfully insecure, falls hard for the charming but unreliable Nicky - a love affair doomed from the beginning. (Side note: in the film, Nicky plays Poker. In real life, Sharif is an avid Bridge player.)
If "The Way We Were" isn't the prolific Streisand's signature song, "People" undoubtedly is. It was written first for the musical and Streisand's single release in 1964 had been a huge hit. Lyrics were added for the film performance.
My Rating System:
5 = The best of the best. These are the films by which I judge other films.
4 = High quality films which I feel could hold up well in repeated viewings.
3 = The vast majority of films. They're fine. Once was enough.
2 = I wasn't even sure I wanted to finish it. It's not a 1 because I'm not prepared to say it's a terrible film - just not my cup of tea.
1 = A terrible film. An insult to the art form.