Up Close and Personal (1996)

The nicest thing that you can say about this movie is that it's 
*extremely* easy on the eyes.  Robert Redford plays a seasoned news 
producer, Michelle Pfieffer is his ambitious young protege, and, 
together, they lend a suitable star power to an otherwise lousy 
movie.  UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL is a grand failure because it's 
ultimately about *nothing.*  No social statement, no compelling 
drama, and not even a very good love story.  We're in fairy-tale 
land, here, where a female anchor's drive has less to do with her 
career than her co-dependency, and where the biggest story surprise 
is guessing which hideous hairdo that Pfieffer will wear next. 

Early in the movie, Redford says of his co-star's character: "She 
eats the lens."  This fact is also true for the actors as actors.  
Sure, they're too old for their happily-ever-after roles, but R. 
and M. bring an illusion of buoyancy to a steadily sinking ship.  
With those two on screen, who wants to leave early-- even in the 
middle of a movie as meaningless as this?  

Unwatchable?  No.  Awful?  Often.  The low points lay like land 
mines, ranging from a succession of stomach-turning love scenes to 
what must be at least *four* different endings.  And what's with 
all those early shots of Pfieffer bending over??  Somewhere in the 
middle of UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL-- which was based on the life and 
times of Jessica Savitch, until Disney got a hold of it.  Now it's 
merely "suggested by"-- the two travel to the Florida Keys, over 
the highway bridge that James Cameron destroyed in TRUE LIES.  I 
kept wishing for those Harrier jets to return, to blow-up the 
bridge that would strand them there that would stop the movie that 
would send us all home.  It didn't happen.  

Grade: C-

Copyright 1996 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: March 3, 1996

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