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Isn't She Great

Where to Watch Isn't She Great

1969

Isn't She Great is a 2000 biographical film that illuminates the life of best-selling author Jacqueline Susann, brilliantly portrayed by none other than Bette Midler. The film is directed by acclaimed director Andrew Bergman, and it's a dramatic comedic spectacle that is a must-see for enthusiasts of eccentric character performances.

The film provides a hilarious yet insightful look into the life of Susann, whose success in the literary world, despite a lack of critical acclaim, was astounding. The narrative is largely based on the book titled 'Wasn't She Great?', written by Michael Korda. Serving as a perfect backdrop is the glamour and glitz of the 1960s and 1970s, not forgetting the world of celebrity culture that Susann adored and keenly wrote about.

Bette Midler deftly slips into the role of Susann, the ambitious woman with a dream. Midler's sensational acting skills shine throughout the film as she relives Susann's literal ups and downs. Nathan Lane effortlessly essays the role of Irving Mansfield, Susann's overwhelmingly supportive husband and publicist in the film.

Isn't She Great kicks off with the passionate Susann failing to make her mark in the showbiz industry as an actress. Yet she doesn't let the rejection dampen her spirits, only steering her towards a career she had never considered earlier - writing. Having Lane as the ever-encouraging Irving, the film beautifully captures their complex yet loving relationship. They fought, they loved, and they succeeded together, a true life partnership.

Stockard Channing delivers an unforgettable performance as the flamboyant Florence Maybelle, a close friend, and staunch supporter of Susann. The film takes a humorous look at these vibrant characters, painting a picture of the ostentatious world that Jacqueline inhabited and how they influenced her work.

The constant battle between commercial success and highbrow literary acclaim is a major theme in Isn't She Great. While critics lashed out at her craft, readers across the globe couldn't get enough of her books like 'Valley of the Dolls' and 'Love Machine'. The film masterfully underlines how she, as the 'Queen of Trash', turned the literary world on its head with her frank narratives about love, sex, and fame. It explores her refusal to give up the unconventionally bold themes and style that she became famous for.

Isn't She Great sharply focuses on the high points of Jacqueline's life and career, her steely resolution, and her indomitable spirit. The journey culminates in her achieving the level of fame that she once dreamt of, only in a different world - the literary world.

Beneath the riotous laughter and outlandish outfits, the movie is deeply moving and inspirational. It touches upon Susann's private heartaches, from the struggles with autism in her family to her relentless battle with breast cancer.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the movie is the portrayal of Jacqueline's flamboyant style, which, along with her entertaining dialogue, gives the film an exuberant, lighter touch.

Paul Rudnick's witty and intelligent screenplay infuses the film with all the required elements of humor, sharp wit, and yes, a generous dose of melodrama, which was the epitome of Jacqueline's alluring life, making Isn't She Great a brilliant homage to an incomparable woman.

As the film charts the course of Susann's life, the woman behind the image emerges, tinged with ambition, resilience, and an undying spirit. The narrative is liberally punctuated with Susann's witty one-liners that add to the charm of the movie.

Isn't She Great is a tribute to a woman who was unapologetic about her love for fame. A woman who proved that staggering commercial success does not necessarily come with critical acclaim. The film is a charming celebration of Jacqueline Susann's life as a woman who was dearly loved by her readers – and a stark reminder of passion, hope, love, and belief in one's own abilities and dreams could lead to unimaginable success.

In conclusion, Isn't She Great is a superbly acted and glibly written motion picture, offering an inside look at the life and times of a ambitious, talented, and complex woman. Pairing laughter with a fair dose of drama, this film truly lives up to its title by the end.

Isn't She Great is a Comedy, Drama movie released in 1969. It has a runtime of 95 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 5.3. It also holds a MetaScore of 34.

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5.3/10
34/100
Director
Andrew Bergman
Stars
Bette Midler, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, David Hyde Pierce, Amanda Peet, John Cleese
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