BetteBack: Waste Not. Want Not.

On cinema
Article from:The Independent (London, England) Article date:July 18, 1994 Author: JOHN LYTTLE

What is Bette Midler to do? Four bombs in a row: Stella, For the Boys, Hocus Pocus and now Gypsy. The latter may have been a ratings hit on American TV and Midler may have garnered critical praise, but for long-time worshippers of the Divine One, we’re still talking turkey.

Gypsy sees Midler giving up, giving in and giving way. There are those who have been waiting a very long time for Bette to stop being an overblown Jewish broad with a smart mouth – the singing Shelley Winters – and be a lady. They can stop waiting; the part of the monstrous, devouring Mama Rose might call for brass and bad taste but Midler, born to play the role, keeps her distance and condescends to the character. Midler, the I-don’t-care girl, now lives to be liked: she keeps peeking from behind the crudely painted facade and waving graciously, like the Queen Mother.

It’s partially the Diney effect. Work for Uncle Walt’s minions for too long and some blandness has got to rub off. Midler hit her commercial peak with the weepie smash, Beaches, but creatively the rot had set in. Bette was so grand and so noble she made Greer Garson look like a cheap slut and upstaged the dying Barbara Hershey to boot; how could she expire and leave poor Bette alone, the selfish cow?

Another thing – perhaps Midler has given up trying. After her cherished dream, For the Boys, died at the box office, she told a reporter, “Well, I gave them what I loved and they didn’t want it. I’ll give them what they want in future.” Waste not, want not.

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3 thoughts on “BetteBack: Waste Not. Want Not.

    1. I put this one up just to see what ya’ll thought. I thought it was one of the stupidest things I had ever read….

  1. FUCK JOHN LYTTLE! That wasn’t a review on “Gypsy” that was an attack on Bette’s career. It’s his opinion. I love how he contradicts himself by saying Gypsy was a “BOMB” and then one sentence later calls it “a ratings hit!” He’s a a damn fool. Gues he had little to write about once “First Wives Club” went number one at the box office! (Or he probably did).

    No wonder Bette NEVER reads her reviews! I think this article would really HURT her if she read it!

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