The Record (Bergen County, NJ)
By Teresa M. McAleavy, Record Staff Writer
Date: 12-20-1991, Friday

Bette Midler wears many hats — she’s an actress, a comedian, a producer, she even dances — but her true talent is her ability to belt out a song with range and electricity that jolts the emotions of an audience.

Midler received an Oscar nomination for best actress for her acting debut in the movie “The Rose,” in which she played a blues-rock singer modeled after the late Janis Joplin. Twelve years, seven features, and four Grammy Awards later, she’s returned to the screen as a singer, this time in “For the Boys.”

“For the Boys” was produced by the company Midler formed with Bonnie Bruckheimer and Margaret South, All Girl Productions. The film also rejoins Midler with director Mark Rydell, who made “The Rose.” Although the new film has received lukewarm reviews, Midler’s performance once again in a singing role has been met with high praise.

For more of The Divine Miss M, you can view the following, available on videocassette:

Down and Out in Beverly Hills” (1986): Paul Mazursky directs this modern version of Jean Renoir’s classic “Boudu Sauve Des
Eaux” (“Saved From Drowning”) about a hopelessly spoiled nouveau-riche couple who rescue a suicidal bum from their swimming pool. Midler’s comedic range peaks as the Beverly Hills wife whose main concern is finding the proper psychiatrist to treat her depressed dog.

With Nick Nolte, Richard Dreyfuss, Little Richard, Tracy Nelson, Elizabeth Pena, Evan Richards, Valerie Curtin, and Mike the Dog. Mazursky makes a cameo appearance. The film later became a television series. R. 103 minutes.

“The Rose” (1979): Midler gives a strong performance as a talented young singer who succumbs to the pressures of show biz. The film explores the self-destruction of drug and alcohol abuse. A showcase for Midler’s singing and stage talents, the film explores the lonely and depressed downside of success.

Also with Alan Bates, Frederic Forrest, Harry Dean Stanton, David Keith, and Barry Primus. R. 134 minutes.

Honorable Mentions: “Beaches,” “Big Business,” “Hawaii,” “Outrageous Fortune,” “Ruthless People,” and “Stella.”

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