I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)

A bluesy, moody slice of life piece about a pair of siblings who decide to spice up their tired lounge act by hiring a singer. Frank Baker (Beau Bridges) has been content with the mundaness and steadiness of the act for a long time. However, his brother Jack (Jeff Bridges), who appears to be more talented musicially, has been dissatified with their professional life for a long time. When his older brother is not looking, Jack slips off to play jazz in small dives. He gets offers to come and sit in with other musicians, but Jack feels some loyalty to Frank.

When the gigs become hard to come by, the brothers hold auditions for a singer. They end up with Susie Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer), who nearly misses out because she shows up late to try out. She is better than the others they've heard that day. Soon, gigs are plentiful and the money is rolling in. Complications ensue when Jack and Susie develop an attraction to each other, which brings out long-held resentments between the brothers.

Ms. Pfeiffer shows an appropriate world-weariness in her portrayal of Susie, a woman who has seen a lot and is cautious because of it. The Bridges brothers worked so well off of each other that audiences believed they might have real-life sibling rivalry, especially during an intense scene where the Baker brothers have a rough fist fight. Jeff explained that he accidently hurt his older brother Beau's hand during the scene. His brother yelled at him to stop bending his hand, and Jeff thought Beau was doing an excellent acting job.

Michelle Pfeiffer has appeared in numerous films including Married to the Mob (1988) and Scarface (1983), opposite Al Pacino. Jeff and Beau's dad was the late Lloyd Bridges. Jeff was nominated for an Oscar for his roles in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1975) and Starman (1985). Beau is generally considered as one of those actors who should get more credit than he does. He has won Emmy Awards, including for the TV films "Without Warning: The James Brady Story" (1992) and "The Second Civil War" (1997).

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