An inspired casting gimmick, a wonderful mood, a grown-up love story--all this in The Fabulous Baker Boys, but the only thing anybody ever talks about is Michelle Pfeiffer on top of a piano. Granted, it's a showstopper:... more » clad in a slinky dress, Pfeiffer rolls around on the Steinway while she purrs out a languid version of "Makin' Whoopee." Adding to the seductive vibe is the fact that she's not singing to the audience, but to the sullen piano player (Jeff Bridges) whose fancy she has captured. Bridges and his real-life brother, Beau, play two lounge entertainers whose act has grown stale; they're not above doing "Feelings" for the tourist crowd. They've hired songbird Pfeiffer (who does her own sexy singing) to spice up the routine, a strategy that pays off in spades. The three actors are terrific, with the fabulous Bridges boys playing neatly off their own sibling rhythms. Writer-director Steve Kloves captures the feel of second-rate Seattle clubs, and Dave Grusin's jazzy score keeps propelling the film forward. The story itself might have come from a 1940s romance, yet Kloves and his actors keep it unusually modern and thoughtful. And then there's Michelle Pfeiffer rolling around on top of a piano.... --Robert Horton« less
Rob Darrah | Dallas, Tx United States | 07/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I saw this movie over 10 years ago at the theater, Michelle Pfeiffer absolutely blew me away. I believe that I had heard some movie reviewer say something like Pfeiffer puts the Fabulous into the Baker Boys, and she positively does.If you are remotely a Michelle Pfeiffer fan, then you should see this movie. She is absolutely incredible. The scene in the movie that is worth five stars by itself is where Suzie Diamond(Pfeiffer) is singing Makin' Whoopie on top of the piano. It is just way to hot for words.Even though Pfeiffer steals every scene that she is in, Jeff and Beau Bridges do a great job as a pair of piano playing brothers, who have had a lounge act over 15 years.The movie focuses more on the trials and tribulations of Jack(Jeff Bridges). He is at a crossroads in his life. Should he stay with his brother, Frank(Beau Bridges) in the comfortable lounge act that they have had, or should he pursue his passion for playing jazz? Frank had always been comfortable doing the same act, because he had a family to feed. When the brothers feel like their act is getting into a rut, they decide that they need to hire a female singer. After going through the process of listening to all of these different women, they finally decide to go with Suzie Diamond(Michelle Pfeiffer). When she finally gets adjusted to the act, Suzie shines.What Suzie does for Jack is to open the door for him to realize that he needs to take a chance with his life and follow his passion. In the meantime, Suzie becomes interested in Jack and even though Frank is telling Jack to stay away from Suzie personally, Jack simply cannot resist.Jack eventually does make the hard transition of breaking with his brother. Jeff and Beau Bridges do an excellent job in some scenes that explore the dynamic of sibling relationships.One of the best things about this movie is the soundtrack. Dave Grusin does a wonderful job with the score. In fact, I think that he should have won the Oscar for it. Michelle Pfeiffer's voice is absolutely incredible. On the soundtrack, she sings Makin' Whoopee and My Funny Valentine. No one will ever sing these songs as well as she does. The Fabulous Baker Boys is a very adult film, so I would not recommend it for children at all. But, for the adult music lover, I would definitely see it."
A simple yet wonderful love story!!!
Mark Twain | 07/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A terrific cast and a simple sweet story are some of the highlights of this unique, rarely talked about gem from the late-80's. It has every reason to be as seen as Pretty Woman--which came later, and seems to have ripped off not only the look of this film, but the poster of another lost classic, Rich Girl.The Bridges brothers are fantastic in an extremely inspired casting gimmick, but the real reason to see this film is Michelle Pfeiffer in a Golden Globe winning and Oscar nominated role. She is superb as a sexy siren who tears apart two brothers, one a sex addict and the other a happily married man. Yes, you've heard it before but I will say it again, her rendition of "Making Whopee" has to be one of the most memorable scenes in all of film. The main themes of sibling rivalry and unfulfilled talent are generally engrossing, and help to paper over the thinness of the story. Jeff Bridges is very believable as a man working in the lower ranks of his trade when he could've reached the top. Beau is also in fine form as a performer who does what he does simply because he has a family to support. It's a hard film to describe, because it's not really about very much, but if you can adjust to the relaxed pace and just enjoy the leisurely development of the three main characters then you will come away from the film feeling thoroughly satisfied. Meg Tilly is also worth mentioning. She is fantastic in a small role that I wish was more fully developed. She is a truly wonderful and underrated actress and I was pleasantly surprised to see her. She has one of the other more memorable scenes in the film, auditioning for the brothers near the beginning of the film.See it for the Bridges, see it for Pfeiffer, see it for Tilly or see it for the music. Just see it!"
Michelle and the Fabulous Bridges Boys
Reviewer | 04/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Written and directed by Steve Kloves, "The Fabulous Baker Boys" is a tale of music and brotherly love set in Seattle. The Baker boys are Jack and Frank (real life brothers Jeff and Beau Bridges), who eke out a living playing piano together at various venues throughout the Emerald City, a basic lounge act they've been doing for fifteen years. Frank is the responsible one, because he has to be; he has a wife, kids and a home in the suburbs. He manages their business, secures the bookings and is content to stick with a formula that works. For him, it's not about the music, it's about keeping food on the table for those who depend on him. Jack, on the other hand, is unattached and could care less about the business end of the partnership. As long as it affords him a modicum of security as well as dignity, he is more than willing to just go along for the ride. For Jack, though, underneath it all, it is about the music; it's about jazz. On off nights he will steal away alone to some small club to play, and deep down inside he knows that this is not only what he really wants, but needs. And he knows he could be great, if only he'd let himself go. The trouble is, he's been with Frank his whole life, and as long as the act is working he just can't make the break. Unless something happens, his dreams are destined to remain suppressed and unrealized. It is only when one of their regular clubs balks at rescheduling them that the brothers begin to realize that perhaps their act is getting a bit stale. So they decide to try adding a singer to the act. After a memorable scene in which a number of young hopefuls are auditioned, Suzie Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer) enters their life. She joins the act on a trial basis, and after an amusing and somewhat tentative beginning, infuses it with new life, though Frank continues to adamantly resist too much of a departure from their original show. ("Does anyone really want to hear `Feelings' again?" she asks him at one point). Ultimately, however, Suzie becomes the impetus for change that Jack has needed all along, and the stage is set for the decisive moment, which comes when the dignity of the brothers is compromised due to an incident on Frank's part of uncharacteristic carelessness. When Jack tells Frank, "We've never been clowns before-" you know exactly how deep it has cut. Kloves has fashioned an entertaining study of relationships, change, and the effects of complacent loyalty and self-denial; and the importance of following your own heart. When Jack sits down alone at the piano in that smoke-filled club, we know that this is where he is meant to be. Filmed on location in and around Seattle, with a terrific score by Dave Grusin,a supporting cast that includes Jennifer Tilly (Monica) and Ellie Raab (Nina), and a classic scene in which Suzie Diamond croons "Makin' Whoopee" atop a piano, "The Fabulous Baker Boys" is an absolute gem you do not want to miss."
SAME OLD TRANSFER
Greg | Lafayette Hill, PA United States | 02/05/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD has new packaging but uses the same old non-anamorphic transfer and Dolby Digital Surround sound as the old version. MGM needs to release an anamorphic version with 5.1 Dolby Digital!!!"
Michelle Pfeiffer sings
Andrew Shih | Chicago, IL | 08/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Finally. A movie that actually has "class," which is a rarity in the 80's and 90's. Michelle Pfeiffer is in her prime as a torchlight singer in a beautiful red dress on top of a black Steinway piano. This alone should sell the movie if you're a guy who plays the piano (such as myself).But if that alone doesn't turn you on, there is also the interesting dynamics going on between the two brothers struggling to maintain their dignity while at the same time trying to make ends meet as jazz pianists who together comprise the "Fabulous Baker Boys." They find Michelle Pfeiffer, and one of them falls in love with her.Finally, this movie is a metaphor for mid-life crisis as the trio each in their own way confront the very real possibility that the best might be behind them, that their aspirations and achievements have flattened out and that they're over the hill. However, they do get their moment in the sun in this movie, and the ending for this movie is wonderfully ambiguous."