Guilty Pleasures Film Festival 2013

“The Fabulous Baker Boys”

Beau Bridges, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jeff Bridges in "The Fabulous Baker Boys" (20th Century Fox, 1989)

Beau Bridges, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jeff Bridges in “The Fabulous Baker Boys” (20th Century Fox, 1989)

This week’s selection is the 1989 drama from 20th Century Fox, “The Fabulous Baker Boys.” Brothers Frank and Jack Baker (played by real-life brothers Beau and Jeff Bridges respectively) have a nightclub piano act that they have been performing in hotels and lounges around Seattle for years. It pays the bills but little else. Big brother Frank decides its time to bring in a singer; that’s where Susie Diamond (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) enters the picture. All three characters are broken by life and the movie shows the interesting ways how they deal with it. And all performances are stellar; however, Michelle Pfeiffer steals the show with her rendition of the jazz/blues standard “Makin’ Whoopee” (the film’s worth watching just for that). The characters’ heartbreak plays beautifully and mournfully through the brilliant soundtrack by jazz great Dave Gruisin (who is also the actual piano player for Jeff Bridges’ character). Definitely made for grown-ups. Written and directed by Steve Kloves. “Frank, if somebody requested ‘Chopsticks,’ you’d ask for the sheet music.”

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