Tag Archives: Money Pit

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Movie Scene Outrageous Fortune Review

The Movie Scene 379059_223684181038560_221327031274275_541446_1465345861_n Worst enemies become best friends, yes “Outrageous Fortune” is a buddy movie, but a buddy movie which when it was released in the 80s had a USP. That USP was that the buddies were two women, which may not sound such a huge USP but most buddy movies prior to “Outrageous Fortune” had always been about two men. But whilst it had this slightly different angle “Outrageous Fortune” is actually a very straightforward buddy movie with two women who don’t get on, hitting the road together where they have to help each other out whilst avoiding bad guys and solving a mystery. And to be honest it is a shame as for the first 20 minutes “Outrageous Fortune” is fun especially with Bette Midler and Shelley Long working well together as opposites who don’t get on but after that it becomes routine and at times a little dull Having spent years training to become an actress Lauren (Shelley Long – The Money Pit) doesn’t get along with Sandy (Bette Midler – Then She Found Me) who has made her name in a few dodgy movies but they find themselves in the same acting class. What they don’t know is that they are also sharing the same lover Michael Sanders (Peter Coyote – E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial) that is until he fakes his own death and tries to disappear. Now having learnt that they were both seeing the same guy, Lauren and Sandy find themselves working together to try and track him down, travelling across America hot on his trail. But they are not the only ones interested in Michael and find themselves in danger as they close in on him. Ignoring the fact that “Outrageous Fortune” is about two women for the moment and for the most the storyline follows the path of many a buddy movie. We initially get the set up of Lauren and Sandy not get along which is made worse when they discover that they’ve both been seeing the same man. And then it falls into that formula territory as despite their initial dislike of each other end up having to join forces as they blag their away across country trying to discover the truth about the man they loved as they learn he faked his death. To make it more routine there are Russians and CIA involved who are trailing them to get to the man they are trailing. That probably sounds a little more complex that in it is because frankly “Outrageous Fortune” is plain sailing and similar to many other 80s buddy movies. But the thing which makes “Outrageous Fortune” different is that it is two women who are the buddies which don’t get on and it is because of this that it actually ends up quite entertaining. Now the characters they play may not be that well defined but Bette Midler and Shelley Long deliver fun performances. Midler is wonderfully brash as Sandy, fast talking her way in and out of trouble with many a great one liner whilst Shelley Long has that element of being up her self as Lauren as she takes herself too seriously. They work surprisingly well together and whilst the comic timing may not always work the sparky banter does provide plenty of amusement especially as half the time it looks like Midler and Wrong were in battle to out do each other. But beyond Midler and Long there are few performances which make anywhere close to an impression. Peter Coyote as the love rat seems to be going through the motions as does Anthony Heald and Robert Prosky. And whilst George Carlin is funny as Frank Madras the reservation resident they meet it’s not really that memorable. Aside from all this it has to be said that “Outrageous Fortune” has some surprisingly good action sequences. The death scene as Michael disappears into a flower shop and then it explodes is surprisingly good as is a scene which sees Lauren using her ballet skills to avoid being captured by a pursuer. In what is really just a comedy these action moments stand out as do a couple of darker moments of humour such as the morgue scene where Sandy and Lauren realise it’s not Michael they are looking at because the dead body’s penis is too small. What this all boils down to is that “Outrageous Fortune” is a fun movie, it has some nice one liners and imaginative scenes but get beyond the fact that this is a buddy movie with women and it is all very routine. It’s almost a case that you are not really interested in the storyline, who is a good guy and who is a bad guy and just enjoy the comedy of Bette Midler and Shelley Long being the chalk n cheese friends.

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

BetteBack January 22, 1987: Shelley Long On Leaving Cheers And Outrageous Fortune

Winnipeg Free Press January 22, 1987 374639_223684101038568_221327031274275_541441_7810151_n A few weeks ago, the day Shelley Long announced she would be leaving her role as Diane Chambers, the sassy, literary minded waitress on TV’s Cheers, the phones in her publicist’s office rang all day. People across the country wanted a comment, a reason for her departure. What should, perhaps, have come as a Casual announcement from Hollywood’s faritasyland turned into a heated race to get “the scoop.” One of the most popular sitcoms on TV for the past five years, much of the show has been built around Diane’s on-again, off-again, onagain romance with the less than brainy, but very brawny bartender, Sam Malone. Their rollercoaster romance recently culminated in an engagement. But Long won’t be around to hear the wedding bells. “Boy, it was tough, really tough,” Long says, shaking her head, of her decision to leave the show. “I really care about all those people, about the show, and Sam and Diane‘s relationship, and it was very hard to let go of that. But the producers couldn’t give me any specifics in the direction that the relationship would take next year. The first year that process of getting together was difficult, there were some wonderful episodes done but there was a kind of struggle involved. It was hard to know what that relationship should be like when Sam and Diane were together. “After the breakup it was pretty jerky from then on. There was a constant juggle. My question was “What is going on here? What are my feelings? What is my character looking for?’ It was difficult to know what Diane had in mind, what she was seeking. I would have a lot of questions, as actresses always do, and when you’re working with a lot of people there, a lot of writers and producers, it’s hard to get clear insights into those questions.” It is obvious that despite the fact the actress has landed a sweet development deal with Disney Studios, leaving the show that made her famous was a serious decision. She relates an anecdote about two women she encountered in an elevator who expressed their disappointment at her departure. From her tone, it’s clear she feels, on a very personal level, that she’s let down her fans. “I’m touched to hear that people feel that kind of tie to my character and the show. I understand that Diane is a primary element in the show but I don’t think she’s the most primary. Everyone is given strong consideration and a lot of exposure. I’m sure Cheers will do just great next year without me.” C e r t a i n l y her d e p a r t u r e shouldn’t, in reality, be given the importance of headline news but, then again, considering the reams of articles on how Dallas viewers felt cheated by Pam’s Dream, it’s understandable why Long herself seems to be suffering from some private angst. But whatever personal turmoil her decision has wrought, Long may find solace in the release of her first film for Disney, Outrageous Fortune. Although she has done numerous films before, from the bombs Caveman, Loosin’ It and The Money Pit, to Night Shift and Irreconcilable Differences, it is Outrageous Fortune that may make the actress a viable box office draw. The witty, rowdy comedy pairs Long with Betle Midler in one of the few female “buddy” pictures to come out of Hollywood in recent history. Both women play actresses, with Midler playing the unorthodox slob and Long — in a role not too far removed from Diane Chambers — a sophisticated, snobbish “.method” actress. “I think the combination of Shelley Long and Bette Midler brings a lot of images to mind and just makes you laugh,” says Long. “It was written that way, for two different ladies who are thrown together in an unlikely situation but who make the best of it.” The “situation” in this case is the discovery that their “dream” man (Peter Coyote) has been romancing each of the unsuspecting actresses. But the battles between Long and Midler on-screen made the papers as well when it was reported the pair were fighting off-screen over who would receive top billing in the credits. “The word battle is so ridiculous,” asserts Long. “It wasn’t a battle. Billing is an important element in a contract. It does affect advertising and conceptions. I don’t know, this isn’t my area. Lawyers, agents and managers, they get into it and it’s regarded by those people as being important. It’s not life shattering, but it’s important. I had my contract’first. Bette wanted top billing, which makes every sense in the world, and those people went off and worked it out and everyone was happy. I got top-billing in half the country and she got it in the other half. What annoys me is that the press seems to really be looking for any issue. “If people want to see a good fight, they should go to the movie because we fought good. We scream and roll on the floor and pull each other’s hair. It’s great. They’ll love it.”
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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

BetteBack March 29, 1986: Bette Midler To Make Outrageous Fortune

Madison Wisconsin State Journal March 29, 1986 304034_223684961038482_221327031274275_541494_818035820_n Shelley Long has wrapped up “Cheers” work. But not for good. She tells me some members of the media have been spreading the word that she’s severing ties with the series this season, when the fact is she still has another season to go before she ful-fills her five-year commitment. She is busy right now promoting her “Money Pit” with Tom Hanks and preparing for a “Cheers”-less future, with a new deal that calls for her to develop and produce projects at Disney, for whom she’s making “Outrageous Fortune” with Bette Midler during her “Cheers” hiatus.
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