Category Archives: That Old Feeling

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Bette Midler’s 15 greatest film performances, ranked worst to best

Golden Derby
Bette Midler’s 15 greatest film performances, ranked worst to best
By Robert Pius, Chris Beachum
December 1, 2018

Bette Midler at the Tony's

Mister D: Well, as long as they had the correct #1 I knew I would be a happy gay cis-gender – white privileged man (is that correct for me? I can’t keep up) My pronouns are: “Just call me any old thing” because frankly, I won’t get offended (not after all the verbally abusive men I have personally slept with. But ya’ll ain’t interested in that! I loved what they said about this Number One performance because it’s true. I would have ranked some higher, and some lower, but that’s just my opinion. I would have found some way to get “And Then She Found Me” and her wonderful cameo of Doris in “Get Shorty” in there. I won’t tell you which ones I’d pull out. Anyway, this was fun. I enjoyed it. Oh, and thank the Lord, Divine Madness made the list. You never see concert movies much on these, and truthfully, I’d probably put it higher. ...  Read More

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Saturday, November 5, 2016

BetteBack June 28, 1997: Dennis Farina On Bette Midler

Clearfield Progress June 28, 1997 418364_214640225299105_1267913188_n Dennis Farina, famous for his tough-guy roles in movies such as Get Shorty, is great to watch. Where is he from? Gerald Mountain, Delray Beach, Ra. He was born and raised in Chicago, and still vacations on the Lake Michigan shore. The father of three grown sons tells us He fell into acting at 35. As a Chicago police officer, “I met some actors and directors and got into it.” He had fun working with Bette Midler on spring’s That Old Feeling. “She’s funny. She has looks. She’s smart. That’s a great trifecta.” He’s no dancer, so for their dance-floor scene, Midler led. “She’d say, ‘Start with your left’ Then she’d kick me. I had bruises up and down my leg.”
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Sunday, October 23, 2016

BetteBack April 16, 1997: Rekindled love on the rebound

Winnipeg Free Press April 16, 1997 424778_214641818632279_670236262_n WHEN Ann Taylor and Layton Payne eloped to Sedona, Ariz., six years ago, they promised to remain together “till death do us part.” As with a lot of married couples, divorce got there first. But nearly four years after splitting up, the Houston couple decided to try again. They were remarried recently in a traditional ceremony before family and friends at the chapel of Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Houston. Their reception included wedding cake and champagne. The bride even wore white, “as inappropriate as that might be,” she joked. But the couple is serious about making this marriage last. “We tried divorce. It didn’t work for us,” says Taylor, who owns a public relations and marketing communications firm. “This time around, we really want to do it right.” More than half of all marriages in the Houston area end in divorce. And when they do, the majority of exspouses run as far away from each other as they can get. Yet amid all the divorce chaos, it seems that a growing number of exspouses are seeking to re-establish a relationship that might work better the second time around. While no statistics are kept on the number of remarriages between former spouses, getting together with an ex is the focus of a new Bette Midler movie, That Old Feeling, and happens often enough to turn up as a topic of conversation. “Most people have sort of a fatal fascination with the idea,” says psychologist Sally Porter-Ross. Attorney Earle Lilly handles some of Houston’s nastiest and most highprofile divorces. But even he is seeing couples who reunite after fighting it out in divorce court. “People think the grass is always greener in the next yard,” Lilly says. But after they get divorced, he says, they find out the grass isn’t that green after all. “They really realize what they had, and in some cases, it’s not too late. Franklin Rose and silhouette artist Cindi Harwood. The’couple, who regularly appeared in social columns during their nine-year marriage, were divorced for six years before recently rekindling their romance. “As you get older, what you really want is companionship,” Rose says. The couple had remained friends after their divorce in 1991, largely because both are devoted to their two children. They had active dating lives but found they kept comparing their dates to their former spouses. “I had fun at first, but we both had our fill (of single life),” says Harwood. Her feelings for her ex came to the surface last December when she went out with an attractive single man. Her date kept talking about his ex-wife’s bad habits, and Harwood found herself listing her ex-husband’s good habits. “Here I was on a date with someone who I thought was really nice, and I’m praising my ex-husband. That’s a crazy thing to do,” she recalls. When she got home around midnight, the telephone rang. She knew it was Rose. “No one else would call me at that hour,” she says. He was calling from a hospital emergency room. He had fallen on a sidewalk in front of her house, dislocating his shoulder, after returning their two children home from a basketball game. “There’s no one to pick me up,” he wailed She went to the hospital to fetch him. Since doctors couldn’t operate on him for two weeks, Rose, Harwood and their children went to his parents’ home in Aspen, Colo. “Cindi nursed me back to health,” Rose says. “I felt like my family life had been given back to me. It seemed very cosmic, like what God intended.” “I realized no one else seemed to compare to him in every single way,” Harwood says. “Sometimes you have to run away from home to realize there’s no place like home.” The couple are waiting to remarry until they find a new house, because they want a “fresh start,” Harwood says. Having had a large wedding the first time, they are planning a small ceremony with their children, their parents and their rabbi. Rose is convinced that their marriage will work the second time. “I’m older and wiser,” he says. “Besides, I can’t afford another divorce.” Rekindled love can be powerful, psychologists say. But there are pitfalls. Sometimes it feels so good to be back together that couples ignore problems that broke them up in the first place. “When couples reconnect, it feels so good that they think surely it will work this time,” says M. Dorsey Cartwright, a marriage and family therapist. “But unless they’ve done something to mature themselves and learn more skills, that (romantic love) will: wear off just like it did the first time, and those old issues will be there.” Bette Midler On Marriage: “Marriage is a hard proposition and you have to be willing to make sacrifices and to compromise and it has to be worth it. Bette Midler On Marruage And Divorce: “You know what I think, too many people have unrealistic expectations about life and marriage is a tough road… BetteBack January 13, 1996: Bette Midler Signs On To ‘That Old Feeling’

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

BetteBack April 14, 1997: Midler returns to comedy in film ‘That Old Feeling’

Brownsville Herald April 14, 1997 402057_214641851965609_402644192_n BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.A view from a broad is back. Some still remember that April night in 1973 when a relatively unknown Bette Midler, backed by three girls she called the Harlettes, was on the stage of Chrysler Hall in Norfolk, Va. It was a warm up for what would be her star-making opening at New York’s Palace Theater two weeks later. The “production values” consisted of two palm trees and a recording of birds chirping in the background. “These girls are FILTHY,” she said of her ensemble. “Simply filthy. They come here directly from Disneyland, where they were a ride.” It was the no-holds-barred, bawdy Bette — the self-proclaimed “trash with flash,” the Divine Miss M. She played the audience like it was her own CD. No other performer of the 1970s so completely pricked the balloons of pomposity as this little bundle of stage wildcat. Nothing was sacred to her as she successfully lampooned everything from the White House to the outhouse Sitting in the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills last week, the 1997 edition of Bette Midler looked trim and very blond. “I know you’re thinking to yourself, ‘How old is this woman, anyway?’” she cracked. “Well, honey, I look a good deal better than Creedence Clearwater Revival. A good deal better.” Midler is currently in T h a t Old Feeling” in movie houses, a movie that she claims “fulfills my desire to do something broad. I like characters who are way over the top. She doesn’t hold anything back. And it’s nice to be back in high heels, too. This woman Wears some nice threads. It’s the type movie I think is right for me to do right now.” She’s coming ofT “First Wives Club,” a big hit (over $100 million gross). “Yes. Yes. I’ll admit it. It was a big hit. I’ve had the depths and then I’ve had ‘First Wives Club.’ I knew it was a natural. There are a lot of angry women around, and they were rooting for us. I’ve been saying for years, ‘What are we, girls, but waitresses at the banquet of life?* I mean, I knew this picture couldn’t flop. And the three girls really got along well. Diane (Diane Keaton) is so low-key. I mean she hasn’t even SEEN movies that she was in. I’d look at the videos, and I’d say ‘It’s OK, girls. But let’s do it again.’ At 50, Midler is showing no signs of slowing down. “I’ve got bills to pay and a family to feed, after all, and making movies is nothing to touring ” ‘The First Wives Club’: Vanessa Lachey Joins Alyson Hannigan & Megan Hilty In TV Land Remake BetteBack Review September 20, 1996: SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT `FIRST WIVES CLUB’
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Monday, October 17, 2016

BetteBack April 7, 1997: ‘That Old Feeling’ Hits The Top 5 Box Office

Burlington Times News April 7, 1997 398410_214642225298905_311080374_n LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Liar, Liar” beat the Val Kilmer thriller “The Saint” at the weekend box office and trounced other star vehicles on its way to breaking the $100 million mark, according to industry estimates Sunday. The Jim Carrey comedy had $18.5 million in ticket sales in its third week, while “The Saint” opened with about $16.2 million. That film, starring Kilmer as a world-class thief trying to rescue scientist Elisabeth Shue, got mixed reviews but was heavily hyped. “ Liar, Liar,” which had the best March opening ever, earned $100.9 million in just three weeks. It has managed to beat out a slate of other comedies and even highly promoted films like Harrison Ford’s “The Devil’s Own,” which placed third with an estimated $7.4 million gross, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Universal knew that “Liar, Liar” would be big but “I don’t think anybody could have expected it to have such a tremendous run as it has so far,” said Allen Sutton, senior vice president of distribution and marketing. The film stars Carrey as a slick lawyer whose son’s birthday wish makes him unable to lie for 24 hours. The plot is basically an excuse for Carrey to display his rubber-faced antics. Sutton said the figures indicate that people are seeing the film over and over. Three other debut films made it into the top IO. “That Old Feeling,” starring Bette Midler as a divorcee thrown together with her ex-husband at their daughter’s wedding, was in fourth place with $5.2 million, followed by “Double Team.” a Jean-Claude Van Damme-Dennis Rodman action thriller, with $5 million. Several movies opened in limited release. “Anna Karenina,” based on Tolstoy’s novel about Russian aristocrats and a tragic love affair, earned $80,000 on five screens. The reissued German U-boat epic “Das Boot” had $70,000 on 13 screens, and “Chasing Amy” had more than $57,000 on three screens. Final weekend box office figures were to be released today. The top IO films from Friday through Sunday: 1. “Liar, Liar,” $18.5 million. 2. “The Saint,” $16.2 million. 3. “The Devil’s Own,” $7.4 million. 4. “That Old Feeling,” $5.2 million. 5. “Double Team,” $5 million. 6. “Jungle 2 Jungle,” $3.4 million. 7. “The Sixth Man.” $3.1 million. 8. “Selena,” $2.7 million. 9. “R eturn of the Jedi,” $2.5 million. 10. “Inventing the Abbotts,” $2.4 million.
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Thursday, October 13, 2016

BetteBack April 6, 1997: The ‘M’ in Divine Miss M doesn’t stand for movies after all

Colorado Springs Gazette April 6, 1997 401014_214641258632335_1043578529_n There is only one thing that Bette Midler truly regrets about her movie career — her movie career. Midler, fresh off the biggest movie triumph of her career with “The First Wives Club” and starring in a film comedy called “That Old Feeling,” dropped the bombshell at the end of a long day of interviews for the new film. Dwarfed by a long, high-backed sofa in her luxury suite at the Four Seasons hotel in Los Angeles, the petite performer spoke quietly and with apparent relief, finally admitting what she says she has suspected for years. The Divine Miss M said she never should have gone into movies. She should have remained a live stage performer. “When I watched my HBO special (taped in Las Vegas and shown in February on the cable network), I realized I’ve been a fool,” she said. “I realized that I should have been doing my own stage work all these years; I never should have bought into this movie business. I realized that I have been doing work that didn’t require me to use any of D«**^ luirfior “^y skills. They (the Bette Midler businesi never knew what to do with me. And I couldn’t help them because they didn’t want my help.” Midler, whose own production company produced the new film, in which she and Dennis Farina play ex-spouses who hate each other so much they can’t keep their hands off each other at their daughter’s wedding, said it was simply a career strategy that got her started in the film business. She was partnered with manager Aaron Russo at the time, and the pair decided that film was the next logical step in a celebrated career that began at one end of the New York City entertainment experience — the gay bathhouses — and ran to the other: Broadway, where the rest of the world discovered her and made her a superstar. “When Aaron and I made up our grand plan, movies seemed the natural place to go next. Movies were the top of the line; it was as far as someone could go,” she said. “But I was naive. The kind of movies I wanted to make, the kind of movies I loved as a child, were no longer being made.” Midler, 51, was with Russo when she made “The Rose,” for which she won an Oscar nomination. But then came “Jinxed!” and a string of films that clearly did not showcase her talents. Her career was resurrected in 1986 with the Disney hit “Down and Out in Beverly Hills.” That began a new phase of her movie career that included some modest hits — “Ruthless People,” “Outrageous Fortune” and “Beaches” — and some duds — “Scenes From a Mall,” “For the Boys” and “Hocus Pocus.” But she was working steadily, and her film career had another resurrection last year when she teamed with Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton to make “The First Wives Club,” which struck a chord among women and took in more than $100 million in this country alone. “As for what that success meant to me, it was very nice. It was a blast. But it meant nothing in the long run. The good scripts still don’t come, and I still have a hard time finding a director.” As down as she is about her movie career, however, that’s how upbeat she is about her revitalized stage career. ‘The First Wives Club’: Vanessa Lachey Joins Alyson Hannigan & Megan Hilty In TV Land Remake When Singers Try Their Hand at Acting (Part 2) Bette Midler On Her First Wive’s Club Co-Stars: “We had a good time, I can tell you! Diane, Goldie and I turned 50 within the same month.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

BetteBack April 4, 1997: Rocky Mountain News – That Old Feeling

Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO) April 4, 1997 | Denerstein, Robert 403258_214642728632188_281691030_n I got that old feeling all right, a sinking sensation in the pit of the stomach that arrives when I see a movie slipping away. Too bad because I enjoy Bette Midler and have liked the work of Dennis Farina, the stars of That Old Feeling, a romantic comedy that tries for a slapdash feel. Midler and Farina play battling former spouses who haven’t spoken to each other in 14 years. That’s all about to change. Because their daughter (Paula Marshall) plans to marry, they’ll have to rub elbows at the wedding. The scene is set for arch comedy, but the movie has something further in mind: It reunites the feuding couple, even though both have remarried. Old passions simmer, and Mom and Pop wind up in a grope session in a parking lot outside the reception. In the hands of director Carl Reiner, old-fashioned too quickly becomes old hat. In the opening scene, for example, the prospective bride swallows a ring that has been put in her dessert at a fancy restaurant. Didn’t we just see that in Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You? The characters aren’t exactly memorable, either. Midler’s Lilly is an egotistical actress who tells her daughter she should forget marriage. Her rationale: One’s 20s are for “having sex with all the wrong people.” Midler’s delivery of catty one-liners constitutes the movie’s principal amusement. Farina, who appears in many mob movies, tries to join the spirited fray. To give this “old-fashioned” comedy a bit of topical gloss, Midler’s second husband (David Rasche) is a sappy psychologist who writes self-help books. Trendy, no? Farina’s second wife (Gail O’Grady) is a salacious interior decorator. Once the estranged spouses get together, they spend their time hiding from their daughter. She’s afraid they’ll embarrass her new husband (Jamie Denton). He’s running for Congress on a family-values platform. He’s supersensitive about his image and can’t stand the thought of his philandering in-laws’ finding their way into the papers. In an effort to locate her wayward parents, Marshall’s Molly enlists the help of a photographer (Danny Nucci). He’s spent most of his professional life stalking Lilly and selling photos to the tabloids. Wouldn’t you know it? Daughter and photographer begin to fall in love. She realizes her marriage was a mistake. The script wavers between bright moments and tired comedy and spends as much time tagging after Marshall and Nucci as it does following Midler and Farina. I didn’t care much about either couple, but the movie raises an unfortunate question: Precisely who goes to a Midler movie to see a Marshall? Not many, I’d guess.
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Sunday, October 2, 2016

BetteBack April 4, 1997: The Cincinnati Post – That Old Feeling

The Cincinnati Post (Cincinnati, OH) April 4, 1997 | Kopp, Craig 426156_227599854003142_528800671_n ”That Old Feeling” wants to bring back old memories of classic romantic comedy couples. It does – even if the pairing of Bette Midler and Dennis Farina falls short of creating the movie magic of, say, Tracy and Hepburn. And ”That Old Feeling” is a classic style wrapped in a decidedly modern package. After all, this is the story of a couple, 14 years divorced, who can’t stand the sight of each other until they look into each other’s eyes at their daughter’s wedding and promptly cheat on their current mates. Not exactly the stuff of your classic romantic comedies. But still entertaining, for the most part. Ms. Midler is actress Lilly Leonard. She’s married to pop psychologist Alan Leonard (David Rasche). Farina is Lilly’s ex, Dan De Mora, married to the much-made-over Rowena (Gail O’Grady). Everybody’s brought together at the wedding of daughter Molly (Paula Marshall), who thinks, rightly, that inviting both of her parents is a recipe for disaster but is convinced by hubby-to-be Keith (Jamie Denton) that it’s the proper thing to do. There’s a disaster all right, but not the kind Molly imagines. Lilly and Dan tear into each other as soon as the wedding vows are exchanged, but when their loving daughter makes them settle it outside, they end up inside – each others arms. Up to this point, ”That Old Feeling” has the kind of comedic tension that makes for great laughs. Ms. Midler can toss the insults with the best of them, and Farina holds his own with her, insult for insult. But once these two head off on a wild romantic fling, chaos – but not always comedy – reigns. The two jilted spouses spar, and though Ms. O’Grady and Rasche make the most of what they’ve got to work with, they’ve already been outdone in this department by Ms. Midler and Farina. The two young marrieds learn that they have less in common than Molly’s warring parents did. And, as something of a crazed Greek chorus of one, there’s Joey (Danny Nucci), a photographer who’s made a career of snapping shots of Lilly. Joey’s the one who finally helps get this lovefest/slugfest into focus. There are plenty of laughs in ”That Old Feeling,” and laughing never grows old. Ms. Midler and Farina have a definite comedic chemistry. It’s just that when these happily reunited lovers fly off into the sunset, as they always do in these sorts of stories, you just don’t believe it’s really a happy ending. I mean, if two people who hate each other for over a decade can fall in love and dump their current spouses at the turn of the hat, you just gotta think ”That Old Feeling” – of hatred – is bound to come back sooner or later.
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Thursday, September 29, 2016

BetteBack April 4, 1997: Roger Ebert – That Old Feeling

The Record (Bergen County, NJ) April 4, 1997 | ROGER EBERT 11281928_684844834976940_1125797800_n Remember those little Scotty dogs kids used to play with? They were glued to magnets. If you pointed them one way, they jumped toward each other, and if you pointed them the opposite way, they jumped apart. Carl Reiner’s “That Old Feeling” is an entire movie based on the dance of the Scotty dogs, and the characters in it act as mechanically as if they had big magnets strapped to their thighs. The premise: A senator’s son (Jamie Denton) gets engaged to the daughter (Paula Marshall) of a movie star and a journalist. He wants a big marriage. Her parents have been divorced for 15 years and both have remarried. He insists on inviting everyone. She warns against it: “My parents hate each other with a nuclear capacity.” She is right. In no time at all her parents (Bette Midler and Dennis Farina) are insulting each other on the dance floor (“I could have had the entire rock-and-roll hall of fame!” Midler shouts. “I turned down a Beatle for you.”). This is, of course, painful to their current spouses: Farina’s wife (Gail O’Grady) and Midler’s husband (David Rasche). But not nearly as disturbing as when the fighting couple suddenly fall into each other’s arms. OK. So now we have Farina and Midler fighting and loving and fighting and loving. The wheezy screenplay by Leslie Dixon now works out the other combinations with almost mathematical precision. First it must be established that the young groom is a prig. Then the plot must contrive to lock the bride into a hotel room with a paparazzo (Danny Nucci) who has been following her movie-star mother. Then Farina’s wife must get drunk with the groom, with predictable consequences. And so on. There is not a moment that is believable, but of course the movie is not intended as realism. It is intended as comedy. So consider this “funny” scene: Marshall and Nucci, locked in the hotel room, try to attract attention by dropping fruit from a balcony. Cops see them, but nod indulgently and walk on. So the two continue to drop fruit. End of scene, with a whole lot of fruit on the sidewalk. What’s in slow motion here is the progress of the plot. Every development is exhausting because we have arrived at it long, long before the characters. There are only two saving graces. One is that Midler sings “Somewhere Along the Way” to Farina in a piano bar, very nicely. The other is that Rasche has some funny dialogue. He is a self-help counselor with smarmy little slogans at his command: “It is important to dialogue and to language each other,” he says, and he recommends “emotional valet parking” and says to Farina’s wife: “Is any part of your body original? You are so at odds with your shadow self.” I liked his dialogue because it was smart and satirical. I liked the two young actors — Denton and Marshall — because they were fresh and appealing. Hell, I liked Farina and Midler, too. I liked everyone: O’Grady, Nucci …make a list. They all seemed way too nice to have done anything to deserve this screenplay.

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    Monday, September 26, 2016

    BetteBack April 4, 1997: New York Daily News – That Old Feeling

    New York Daily News Byline: Bob Strauss April 4, 1997 419755_214640508632410_131169048_nThat Old Feeling” is uncontrolled, inconsiderate lust. Refreshingly so, in this often funny, sometimes stumbling farce. With Bette Midler blasting away at her larger-than-life best and supporting players who aren’t afraid to look like fools, the movie surfs over credulity gaps and structural bumps on waves of raucous laughter. Leslie Dixon, who wrote Midler’s similarly amusing “Outrageous Fortune,” came up with the ultimate adult child’s nightmare here. Two divorced parents, individually embarrassing but utterly mortifying when they get together and start fighting, ruin your wedding – not with an argument (though they do that, too), but with a suddenly rekindled passion for each other. Paula Marshall of TV’s “Chicago Hope” plays unlucky bride Molly, who can’t concentrate on her conservative groom, Keith (Jamie Denton), because her folks Lilly and Dan (Midler and “Get Shorty’s” Dennis Farina) are giggling in the room next door. Soon the vain actress and gruff mystery novelist are making other noises. When Lilly’s husband, Alan (David Rasche), and Dan’s wife, Rowena (Gail O’Grady), confront the philanderers, the old flames do what they feel is right: disappear without a trace. It’s here that Dixon’s script becomes problematic, if no less humorous. Molly hires the cute but annoying paparazzo Joey (Danny Nucci), who’s made it his business to stalk Lilly, to track down the errant pair. While they’re wandering around New York, Keith tries to console Alan (himself a motor-mouthed, super-sensitive, book-writing relationship expert) and Rowena. As this trio’s more venal qualities emerge under pressure, Molly starts rethinking her own, timid romantic choices – and that exerts a lot of drag on the movie’s dirty-minded buoyancy. All the while, of course, Lilly and Dan are having a ball. When they’re not yelling at each other. Farina proves a tough, fine foil for Hurricane Bette, and the abandoned spouses stew most entertainingly. But as they swallow up more screen time, Molly and Joey, mostly because of their comparative good sense, grow duller. There is also a sense that Dixon’s script tries a little too hard to have it both ways. Lilly and Dan may be blithely breaking hearts and society’s conventions for the fun of it, but they were married once and, clearly, really still love each other. As risky comic premises go, this one comes close to achieving that elusive state of no-risk. On another hand, Midler’s diva-ish dynamism may have been less effective in a larger dose. Though her performance is broad and zinger-laced, it rarely slops over into the screechy cartoonishness of some of her earlier, more Bette-centric comedies. Indeed, Midler plays Lilly as elegantly as someone who says, “I’m the happiest I’ve been since it was OK to take drugs,” can probably be portrayed. After an initial, coincidental misstep – the opening gag was just seen in Woody Allen’s “Everyone Says I Love You” – director Carl Reiner proves that he still has some of that old feeling left, too. Though there’s not much of the visual inventiveness here that marked his best films with Steve Martin (“All of Me,” “The Man With Two Brains”), “Feeling’s” camera is always in the right place. And this film’s staging, performances and comic timing are so vastly superior to such recent Reiner comedies as “Fatal Instinct” and “Sibling Rivalry” that, unlike most aspects of “That Old Feeling,” it’s not funny. BetteBack January 13, 1996: Bette Midler Signs On To ‘That Old Feeling’ 10 Signs Telling You Should Let Go Of What You Have And Move On Bette Midler On That Old Feeling: BetteBack April 3, 1997: Being married and being Bette Midler not easy

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