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Matt Hough

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Matt Hough
Andrew Bergman’s Isn’t She Great doesn’t manage to offer a convincing or identifiable screen biography of celebrated author Jacqueline Susann.



Isn't She Great (2000)



Released: 28 Jan 2000
Rated: R
Runtime: 95 min




Director: Andrew Bergman
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama, Romance



Cast: Bette Midler, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, David Hyde Pierce
Writer(s): Michael Korda (article), Paul Rudnick (screenplay)



Plot: An unsuccessful over-the-top actress becomes a successful over-the-top author in this biography of Jacqueline Susann, the famed writer of "Valley of the Dolls" and other trashy novels. ...



IMDB rating: 5.5
MetaScore: 34





Disc Information



Studio: Universal
Distributed By: Kino Lorber
Video...


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Robin9

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Thanks you for the review. This does not sound like my kind of movie.
 

MatthewA

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I remember my mother and I saw the film in a nearly empty theatre.

Judgment had obviously been rendered on it quickly as even Bette Midler's ill-fated eponymous CBS sitcom around the same time threw shade at both it and the cinematic equivalent of the Yugo that was Drowning Mona.
 

Harold Chasen

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This film really does rate as one of the great missed opportunities. The real Jacqueline Susann had a very interesting life story, and if they had just tried to tell half of it accurately, it would have been a good movie. Unlike some biographies, there was no need to change the truth to make it entertaining.

The only bit of interest in retrospect is the casting of Nathan Lane. At the time, there was a lot of ridicule about how such an obviously gay actor was miscast as her husband. However, I've since seen it alleged that Irving Mansfield was really gay, which would make it more accurate. That's not to mention Jaqueline Susann's real life bisexuality, which (if memory serves - I haven't seen it since it was new) is also omitted in the movie.
 

MatthewA

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If they changed this much, then why even claim it's about Jacqueline Susann? Why not just do what she did and create a character inspired by her? Then maybe that same cast could have been put to better use. In addition to skirting over her sexual orientation, the fact that her son had autism got basically one short scene with no emotional impact whatsoever. It's the sort of thing that makes me want to dig out Wednesday Addams' "your work is puerile and underdramatized" diatribe from Addams Family Values. I'd be using Rudnick's own words against him. Nathan Lane played a cop in that movie a year before The Lion King changed his life forever.
 
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