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63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pfeiffer puts Fabulous into the Baker Boys
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...
Published on July 23, 2000 by Rob Darrah

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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars SAME OLD TRANSFER
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!!!
Published on February 5, 2007 by Greg


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63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pfeiffer puts Fabulous into the Baker Boys, July 23, 2000
By 
Rob Darrah (Dallas, Tx United States) - See all my reviews
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.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michelle and the Fabulous Bridges Boys, April 10, 2000
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.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FABULOUS!, June 15, 2000
This review is from: The Fabulous Baker Boys (DVD)
How do you attempt to write a review for one of your favorite films? I fondly recall The Fabulous Baker Boys as a cinematic highlight in my life, and know that the following review will probably not do it justice, but well....
In his debut feature, writer-director Steven Kloves' took some very old plot-lines and with care, skill and sheer respect for the film medium, created a minor masterpiece which bears up to repeated viewing and guarantees hours of endless entertainment - trust me, I've seen this film so many times, it's embarrassing to reveal the exact number.
For 31 years, Frank and Jack Baker have played piano together. Child stars turned lounge lizards, the two peddle their middle-of-the-road tunes in any bar they can book. Times are tough, and the once fabulous act has grown tired, hackneyed and somewhat embarrassing, especially for younger brother Jack (Jeff Bridges), who's embittered and weary of the muzak he plays, the dead-end life he leads. Older brother Frank (Beau Bridges) sees their act as a business, a means of supporting his wife and children, something to do in order to survive. Unlike Jack, Frank has no dreams of musicality and, quite honestly, he's a hack who doesn't really like what he does, but who is content to keep on doing it.
As the duo hit a particularly lean patch, they decide to take on a singer to spice up their act, and after a hilarious montage of terrible wannabes (including a particularly inspired Jennifer Tilly), the dubiously named Suzie Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer) slinks into their lives and so begins a happy professional collaboration that garners them success, respect and a small measure of fame. Personally, however, Suzie's arrival marks the beginning of the end for Frank and Jack. An ex-social escort too proud to tell the many tearful tales she has, she's a kindred soul for Jack, two cynical losers who may have a chance at happiness.
Things turn sour when a commitment phobic Jack bails on Suzie, and she leaves the act. The Baker brothers are reduced again to small-time acts, and in a particularly demeaning engagement, Jack and Frank's long seething resentment and frustrations come to the surface. When the dust settles, each goes his own way, their relationship changed but intact. The question is, would Jack ever stand a chance with Suzie?
This film is a smoldering scorcher, packed with pitch perfect performances and a script that is as surprisingly deft as its ideas are old and unoriginal. Steven Kloves' dialogue is music to the ears. He expertly captures the tone and mood of the characters, and crystallizes years of hurt, longing and pain in short, succinct sentences that speak volumes. Using a confident, sure hand, he steers his sleepy, slow-burn script to classic status. The pace is just right, and the languid charm the film possesses is one of its greatest assets.
Of course, much of the film's credit must also go to the actors, all of whom are flawless. The top-lining brothers give career-high performances in this film. Beau embodies the domesticated suburban quality which defines Frank so fully that it is hard to imagine him as being any different in real life. Although a somewhat pathetic character, Beau nonetheless finds the dignity and respectability in Frank and it is his clear and honest portrayal of these qualities which make his story so much more poignant and touching than it appears on paper. If there were a "sad" life amongst the trio of leads, Frank's would be the saddest simply because he's chosen to be oblivious to his own disappointments and regrets - the price of fatherhood and of being a husband and provider have forced his hands and shaped his life, and Beau's performance, made up of small revealing gestures and silent looks tells the whole story behind the man.
As Jack, Jeff Bridges again turns in a startling portrait of a man gone wrong fighting his way back. Jack Baker has talent, and he knows it; he sticks with Frank because he's lazy, but also because deep down inside, he's fearful of taking the chance and not having anyone to blame should he fail. Everything about Jeff's performance speaks of Jack's abject misery, anger and the restlessness that's always chafing against him. Not only does he look the part, he seems to become the character. It is hard to imagine another actor being able to so fully play the part with the same level of complexity, depth of emotion and completeness. It helps tremendously, as well, that he lights up the screen beautifully opposite Michelle Pfeiffer in a career-altering role.
Long relegated to window dressing or showing up in undeserving projects, Pfeiffer's career suffered a major setback due to her involvement in Grease 2. With Sweet Liberty and Into the Night, however, her luck began to change; when The Witches of Eastwick came along, she became a newly-minted star. The Fabulous Baker Boys, however, gave her credibility. As the sexy siren who wreaks havoc in the lives of two brothers, she's a modern-day Lauren Bacall, sensual, intelligent and bruised. Pfeiffer's Oscar-nominated performance here is stunning; there's not a moment where she makes a wrong move or wanders into shaky terrain, and she completes the incredibly realized triangle that Kloves' script has engineered.
The scene of Pfeiffer crooning "Makin' Whoopee" whilst lolling about on top of a baby grand piano is often sited as the highlight of modern cinema this film offers. I suggest an alternative: the scene where Suzie makes her stage debut with the Baker boys. Nervous but too tough to admit it, she drops her cue cards, swears colorfully into the microphone and gropes about for a recovery. A frantic Frank then forces a bemused Jack into an impromptu duet of "Ten Cents A Dance" before Suzie returns in fine form and the three of them begin to make lounge music history. As it plays, this scene is amusing, and arguably slight, but the subtext of three desperate souls relying on each other, clinging onto the shreds of dignity they are left with in order to make a shot at something better, and succeeding, is both exhilarating and melancholic. The audience knows that before they go on the stage, the act was nothing; when they leave, they would begin the journey of success and eventually falling apart. The time on that stage was the one moment everything was perfect for them. In a canny and sublime way, The Fabulous Baker Boys captures this magical tension and wonder amongst them, and sustains it for its entire duration.
This is one the best films you'll ever see. Trust me on this.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A simple yet wonderful love story!!!, July 9, 2004
This review is from: The Fabulous Baker Boys (DVD)
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!
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars SAME OLD TRANSFER, February 5, 2007
By 
Greg "greg19444" (Lafayette Hill, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Fabulous Baker Boys (DVD)
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!!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michelle Pfeiffer sings, August 12, 2002
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This review is from: The Fabulous Baker Boys (DVD)
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.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michelle Pfeiffer the best, April 4, 2002
This review is from: The Fabulous Baker Boys (DVD)
This is my favorite movie, I never got tired of watching it. To those who are planning to see this movie, I guarantee you'll enjoy this. Michelle Pfeiffer in her famous piano scene is considered now a classic. Jeff Bridges and Pfeiffer's chemistry is one of the best ever seen on screen. This movie is just underrated.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Okay, I'm in love with Jeff Bridges..., February 14, 2007
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This review is from: The Fabulous Baker Boys (DVD)
Let's cut to the chase -- this movie had two pluses going for it before I ever watched it --I play the piano, and I'm in love with Jeff Bridges. Ever since I saw him in some schmaltzy romantic comedy with Sally Field (I think he was her true-life boring-handsome fiancee, and her dead rake-charming ex-husband was James Caan), I've been truly smitten. His handsome head of hair, his charming grin, his unbelievably sexy voice, his ....well, do I need to go on? In "The Fabulous Baker Boys", we see his nuanced character acting. Brother Beau (also irresistable in his own way), as the responsible father-figure brother, and Michelle Pfieffer as Suzy Diamond (one of her very best roles ever), make a terrific ensemble act for what could have been an all-too-predictable story. Who cares if it's predictable, I say? At the end of the movie, you really don't care, because the character development in this movie is fabulous. The acting is fabulous, and most of all, the movie score is fabulous. Dave Grusin rules! I own this movie, and when I'm feeling really down, I watch it, because it reminds me that perfection on all levels is all that really matters.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Five-star film in a flawed DVD, May 14, 2001
By 
Mohzrah (Rochester, MI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Fabulous Baker Boys (DVD)
This is my favorite film and one of the first DVDs I bought upon getting my player. The picture delighted me as it has so many times in the past--it's beautifully filmed, written, and acted. (Michelle Pfeiffer's thrilling performance is just the icing on an already delicious cake.) The DVD is, for the most part, a big improvement over the VHS version. It's in widescreen, for one thing, and the digital transfer brings out so much detail in the photograpy and, especially, the performances. Pfeiffer and the Bridges brothers are wonderfully subtle actors and you can see the nuances of their acting here in a way that wasn't possible outside of a theatrical screening. An added bonus is the audio commentary by cinematographer Michael Ballhaus. There are, however, a couple of problems with the DVD version. The color quality isn't the best--it seems faded in comparison with the theatrical and VHS versions. The other is a flub in the transfer that should have been caught and corrected. In the "Making Whoopee" scene, the picture at one point briefly freezes into a still image. (It occurs directly before Pfeiffer steps down from the piano.) As momentary as it is, it's distracting, and it has to occur, in all places, in the film's most famous scene. It's still a great movie and the DVD is definitely worth getting even if one has the VHS version, but one wishes the releasing company had taken a little more care in preparing it before releasing it on the market.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired cast! Terrific show!, September 22, 2007
This review is from: The Fabulous Baker Boys (DVD)
I didn't bother to see this when it came out. All I heard about it was that Michelle Pfeiffer sang on a piano and that wasn't enough to draw me into the theater. But...wow! This is a much under-rated film. Three really good actors who never have received the acclaim they deserve: the Bridges and Pfeiffer---together here, with an intelligent script and careful direction, and the magic happens.

Michelle Pfeiffer is so beautiful that I think people don't realize what a good actress she is. She is very funny and real as the ex-escort girl who dresses like she's going to a Halloween party till they fix her up. It's a role that could have easily descended into a cliche--the tough, gum-chewing, lower class chick---but Pfeiffer plays her as a real person and she emerges as a strong, smart woman whose character shocks everyone else into action. She keeps her sort of klutzy vulnerability too, even after their "success" which makes her very appealing. Yes, she is unforgettable on top of that Steinway and she truly deserves a spot in the Hollywood Hall of Fame for that but there is a lot more to her performance than that.

Jeff Bridges is equally as charming and heart-throbbing (something for the ladies) and they make worthy adversaries/lovers. The tension that builds up between them is maddening--The scenes in the hotel where they almost get together but don't quite--are so life-like that anyone who has lived through such ordeals will have to laugh. You want to scream at the screen "Get together, already!" No wonder they both smoke so much.

Beau, the not-quite-as hunky brother is perfect in his role, too. He plays Frank, the responsible one, who books the act, makes sure everyone's on time and sprays black paint to cover the bald spot on the back of his head. Jack (Jeff) is the cool one, the naturally brilliant musician, who despises their gigs in chain hotel lounges, but doesn't have the courage to break out on his own. Just as their long-term career is careening towards the pit, Susie Diamond (Pfeiffer) enters the picture and the dynamics shift. She is a force to be reckoned with and something has got to give.

As familiar as I was with the actors, I fogot who they were almost immediately. I suspect that the fact that these two talented Bridges brothers played the Baker brothers has a lot to do with the success of the film. I have to wonder how much of their actual personalities informed the performances.

The whole thing flows seamlessly. We get the points but we're not hit over the head with them. The ending is just-right, too! Overall, a terrific film.
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The Fabulous Baker Boys
The Fabulous Baker Boys by Steve Kloves (DVD - 2007)
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