Rules Don't Apply ★★

I saw it with a theater that was maybe 40% full. At 44, I was far & away, the youngest person in the theater. When it was over, I heard at least 3 senior citizens saying that they fell asleep in the film. “Don’t worry,” another lady said to one of them. “You certainly didn’t miss anything.”

That’s the perfect review for this film, one of Warren Beatty’s rare failures as a writer/director. The editing in the first hour is so erratic and hectic that scenes come & go so quickly and also are so brief, one wonders why the hell some of them were even kept. (I mean, did Lily & Annette’s characters have anything more to do than to eat supper night after night?) I feel that this was a much longer film that was truncated to try and make as much money as it can. Boy has that backfired.

While Warren Beatty isn’t half bad in this film, the tone of the film is so unfocused that after awhile, one wonders exactly what the hell the movie is about? Is it about Howard Hughes or is it about a couple of sexually pent-up schoolkids trying to decided if they are going to fornicate with each other?

All the star cameos in the film were more of a nuisance than a pleasure. I absolutely hate when films boast such a large cast of very well-known actors, only to not have them listed in the opening credits, because, when you’re trying to get into the movie, people around you go, “Is that Ed HArris?” “I don’t know. But I think that’s his wife playing his wife there.” “What?” A little later on. “I didn’t know ALec Baldwin was in this.” “God, Candice Bergen sure let herself go.” That’s some of what I had to hear from the handful of seniors who were not giving into sleep. If the credits had been there from the beginning, I wouldn’t have had to hear such ridiculousness and I might have been able to like the movie a little better.

I never thought I’d say this, but, out of all of Warren Beatty’s movies, before seeing this, I never would thought I would suddenly like, not to mention appreciate, Dick Tracy, much, much more.