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Weekly Streisandicure: The Main Event

March 13, 2010

It always seems as though I end up watching a Streisand film while I’m doing my nails. Whether it’s coincidence, inspiration or the preponderance of Streisand flicks on instant view, I don’t know.

Babs flick: The Main Event
Nail Polish: Rescue Beauty Lounge – Film Noir

Ryan O’Neal joins Babs for this surprisingly funny flick fueled by the power of belligerent sexual tension and the promise of a kick ass song over the end credits. The premise involves Hillary (Babs), a fabulous perfume maker, going broke with the help of a shady business manager who bones out with all her cheddar. After settling her debts she’s left with one asset – a washed up prize fighter’s (O’Neal) contract. But there’s a catch. There’s always a catch when your prize fighter looks like Ryan O’Neal at the tail end of his 70s hotness. He doesn’t actually fight. He’s merely paid to be a fighter and throw a few matches – for taxes purposes – but actually runs a failing driving school out of a building shaped like a giant boxing glove. In fact he has a bit of a fear of getting hit. Determined to recoup her losses, Hillary decides she will kind of manage him to ensure he actually wins fights to pay off his debt. Of course they “hate” each other and have one of those push me/pull me relationships that is the stuff of romcom tropery.

Along for the journey are Whitman Mayo, who co-stars as Kid Natural’s (yeah that’s O’Neal’s character) manager/co-conspirator, a post Andy Warhol/pre-New York Undercover Patti D’Arbanville and Barney Miller’s annoying boss Inspector Luger James Gregory. Ernie Hudson has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him scene at the beginning, but I was removing my old polish during the exposition so I only heard his voice and couldn’t tell you if the performance was memorable.

Hillary seems to be the forerunner to Carrie Bradshaw, particularly her penchant for zingers and deliciously inappropriate footwear. Strappy sandals and sequins in boxing ring? Seriously? Actually the costuming is pretty fly. Lots of shiny monochromatic and skimpy outfits. And the nails! I liked her pale manicure much better than the social worker plum color she wore at the beginning of the film.

The dialog is quite snappy and I messed up my own manicure trying to go back and review a scene. Despite pushing nearly two hours the film moves along nicely. And unless you don’t have a lot of exposure to rom-com it’s fairly obvious where this train is headed and the ride is fairly enjoyable.

O’Neal and Babs have surprisingly effective chemistry so much so that you almost don’t notice how embarrassingly awful the “boxing” is. You can see better faux fighting on Jerry Springer. But since this isn’t really a boxing film I’m inclined to let that slide. In addition, neither actor is doing anything you haven’t seen them do before. With O’Neal, it’s like Oliver Barrett IV decided to move to LA and disappoint his father in a milder climate. And Babs, well, she plays Babs mostly and that’s perfectly fine with me.

But that song. I tell what. The theme song is discolicious. There is nothing better than a slow, melodic intro that bursts into a high octane booty shaker. Though this is more of a wannabe Fosse jazz hands thing. Definitely lots of big finish fake outs peppered throughout the song. I dare you not to toss your head back and throw your hands in the air while attempting the high notes.

Jazz hands to the sky, baby!

And of course shadowboxing. I’m pretty sure similar to the music from Rocky it’s a federal offense not to shadowbox while belting this out in front of a mirror or a bar full of drunken New Englanders.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2010 5:10 am

    OMG, I had no idea this was attached to a movie!! Must find this movie now. You have. Made. My Friday. Night!

    My mom had Donna Summer’s “On The Radio: Greatest Hits Vol 1 & 2” double album, and when everyone else was out, I would put that baby on, crank the volume, and put on the best performance our TV had ever seen!! The whole, humongous, 11-minute extended version of “Enough is Enough” and the extended version of “On The Radio.” Oh man. I have such strong memories of singing my 12-year-old guts out there, I can’t even tell you.

    P.S. I totally found myself watching Yentl a few weeks ago. How I loved that movie!! Though now I kind of boggle that anyone was ever fooled by Babs’ cross-dressing. Though I finally get why all my mom’s friends got all swoony talking about Mandy Patinkin. Zang.

  2. March 13, 2010 7:29 am

    Strappy sandals and sequins in boxing ring? Seriously?

    Yes, but generally if you’re holding one of those large round number signs.

    And I agree the chemistry between Ryan and Barbra is wonderful. I still find “What’s Up Doc” to be a very enjoyable Bogdonovich romcom with a little added slapstick thrown in. She’s also really good (and very sexy) in the Owl and the Pussycat which I thought was O’Neal but was the less pretty version of him, George Segal. I never paid attention to her nails in that one but I bet they’re hookerific.

  3. Rose permalink
    March 13, 2010 2:31 pm

    If you like Babs and O’Neal together, check out “What’s Up Doc?”, one of my all time favourite movies.

  4. cath permalink
    March 13, 2010 2:35 pm

    Ernie Hudson has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him scene at the beginning, but I was removing my old polish during the exposition so I only heard his voice and couldn’t tell you if the performance was memorable.

    The fact that you recognised his voice during the B&YMH episode ensures that the man is memorable. Also, Ernie is an attractive man. There’s something about him that has coy-but-I’ll-bone-you-if-you-want-it schmooze thing going on.

    I feel like I should respect Babs more than I do. . .but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I hate her hair/glasses combo nowadays, that it reflects a desire to embrace normalcy rather than rock her innate boubbie-ness.

    I will re-embrace eloquence eventually. I think I concentrated too much on my laundry today and my neural pathways have short-circuited as a result.

  5. March 14, 2010 10:32 pm

    OMG, I had no idea this was attached to a movie!! Must find this movie now. You have. Made. My Friday. Night!

    Happy to be of service! Yeah, you’re in for a real treat. It’s a great rom-com.

    @Cath – Ha on E-Hud. He does have a distinctive voice, which probably explains why I didn’t bother looking up. Though I’m so used to thinking of him as a Ghostbuster I forget that he was respectable character actor before and after Ghostbusters.

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