I'LL DO ANYTHING (1994)
Produced, written and directed by James L. Brooks who had previously made (and scripted) "Terms of Endearment" and "Broadcast News." Nick Nolte, who is much more versatile than most people think, plays an actor who in spite of an Emmy-nomination cannot find employment.
He is stuck with his six-yeard old daughter (the amazing Whittni Wright) by his ex-wife (the always incomparably weird Tracey Ullman) who is going to jail. The kid is a royal pain, Nolte despairs in every way, tries to get a movie part, gets involved with irritating producer ("Popcorn Films") Albert Brooks and his irritating staff. Everyone is a basket case of insecurity, save for sane Julie Kavner, who gets my 1994 Thelma Ritter Award. While Nolte keeps failing, his daughter is about to become a child star. It is like a strange deformation of "A Star is Born." The movie is a snappy, Blake Edwards-ish, devastating satire of Hollywood, seen by insider James Brooks. It works beautifully, maintains its shrillness and insights throughout. The funny thing is that this was originally a musical that, when previewed by audiences, did so badly that Brooks took out most of the songs, shot some extra footage and made it into a straight film. By and large, the reviews were bad, most probably influenced by the ex-musical nature of the movie - yet the film stands perfectly well as a whole and is one of the best of its genre.
Copyright © Edwin Jahiel
Movie Reviews by Edwin Jahiel