November 30, 1991
If you appreciate old-fashioned schmaltz and sentiment, dramatic contrivance, shameless manipulation of your emotions and movies – then you will LOVE the current Bette Midler tour de force, “For the Boys.”
Director Mark Rydell and actress/producer Midler have offered up a lavish time-spanning musical epic that asks you to put aside sophisticated film-going cynicism and allow yourself a good, healthy emotional wallow. Right from the start, with Bette in totally overdone old-age makeup, telling her story via flashbacks to a young man (a fellow initially unsympathetic but naturally soon won over by Dixie, the famous, irascible USO entertainer), you know here is a film Louis B. Mayer, Selznick, Goldwyn and the Brothers Warner would have cherished. Only the kitchen sink is missing.