Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Rules Don't Apply Film Review

I caught Rules Don't Apply yesterday, a La La Land romance set in the Hollywood backlot of Howard Hughes. Warren Beatty writes, produces, directs and acts a peek into the life of Hughes and how those around him are affected. With a Woody Allen style stellar cast, all wanting to cash in the billionaire's chips.


Lily Collins plays Marla Mabrey a new contract actor for Hughes, Annette Bening her mother, and Alden Ahrenreich their driver Frank. Taking them to the house, overlooking the Hollywood Bowl, provided for Marla while she waits for her screen test. Hughes runs a stable of girls, including gorgeous Haley Bennett, all with drivers. There is to be no fraternising between the talent and the drivers, the ever excellent Matthew Broderick tells Frank. But that's okay as Methodist Frank already has a girl back home. Practically married since they went 'all the way'. But there's something about Baptist church going Marla. And the Hollywood rules don't apply to her he says.

Alone in LA as her mother finally calls it quits and goes back home, Marla gets closer to Frank, while still waiting for her screen test. Eventually Marla meets Hughes and finally gets her screen test while Frank gets to drive him, or be driven by him to see his aeroplane. Frank impresses Howard and he keeps him around, meanwhile inviting Marla for a meeting to discuss her future. But Hughes has many fingers in many pies and keeping all his plates spinning takes a good deal of business acumen and staff around him. Throughout the film Hughes's capacity is called into question, but Martin Sheen's Noah Dietrich advises him that were he married he couldn't be sectioned. If he were he would lose control of his many business interests including TWA and his father's company from where the Hughes fortune was made. Howard needs to marry someone quick.

The whole cast was terrific and worked great as an ensemble. Talented Lily Collins is a perfect Disney princess we know from having starred in Mirror Mirror. And she is such a pretty girl she lights up the screen. I think she's a modern day Audrey Hepburn. And Alden we know is going to be Han Solo. Like Dane DeHaan he has a huge future ahead of him. And Warren himself made a great fist of playing the multi-faceted Hughes. The scene with Frank and Steve Coogan up in the air with him was hilarious as he dead pans while Coogan as an RAF Wing Commander and Frank just pray, as dear god there's no parachute.

The filming was a technicolor dream and the costumes spot on. Thank god we are no longer stuck with pants as big as those Marla wears! But she's a god-fearing girl who believes anything more than a kiss is sinful.

I hope that Warren gets back in the directing chair again and I'll be waiting to see it.


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