Written by / 6/25/2017 / No comments / , , , ,

PRODIGAL WARREN BEATTY RETURNS IN RULES DON'T APPLY

Year: 2016 Rating: **
RULES DON'T APPLY stars and is directed by Warren Beatty, who left Hollywood over ten years ago after his comedy disaster TOWN & COUNTRY was chopped on the editing block, not by the studio but the man himself: guilty for his own massive failure... 

So this is a return for not only Beatty the filmmaker but the actor, whose subtle touch is usually effective yet rarely extraordinary, although he doesn't sell himself as the lead herein: Upon first glance, it seems like the film's starlet, Lily Collins as Maria, is a very, very young small town girl up for a part in a Howard Hughes picture... Beatty's Hughes speaks in a purposeful monotone since the real life billionaire's well-known insanity gives any actor a sky's-the-limit opportunity to chew the scenery. In that, he plays it strange yet extremely grounded, and by the time it's realized that Collins is slightly older than she initially appeared, a creepy scene occurs, ruining what had been building up in an effectively mysterious fashion: simply put, it seems that Warren, the famous womanizer, now married and old, gave himself a chance for a love scene with a schoolgirl that a dirty old man could conjure up in his fantasies: liken to an aging action star who'd cast a younger badass to fight, and defeat, so goes the short-lived March/December romance for the aging, mummified Playboy...

Beatty as Hughes
More befitting this actress is the "leading young man" played by future Han Solo, Alden Ehrenreich, who looks like a dark-haired Leonardo DiCaprio with a one-note expression that never says much of anything, no matter how loony Hughes gets. And like Martin Scorsese's THE AVIATOR, we center on Hughes as a filmmaker 
— but not in an artistic sense... 

What's supposed to be the central plot involves Ehrenreich's Frank, an ambitious limo driver for Hughes's production company, nearing a romance with the young, auditioning starlet, which is against the RULES. The film cuts back and forth to this and Hughes, losing both is mind and possibly his airline. 

Warren Beatty is usually a giving actor, letting others shine around him, but not here... His input begins as a deliberate intrusion into what seems to be a quirky rom-com but then takes over, almost completely... A shame since the only time the boy has a personality, he's with the girl and while her lithe beauty fits, she looks and acts too young for the premise to make sense... Plus, RULES DON'T APPLY is far too long and, like THE AVIATOR, the aerial sequences are computerized and phony. But worst of all, the awkward, bizarre romantic triangle never gives either "couple" a chance to carry any particular story through.
Based upon a rather lifeless performance, the critter on the right would fit Chewbacca like Alden Ahrenreich was Han Solo...
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