Rich and Famous

Feelings of great depth and poignancy surface unpredictably in this film by George Cukor, though they have little to do with the ostensible subject: the director seems to be responding to the material in private, wholly personal ways completely divorced from the concerns of his collaborators. The screenplay, an old rewrite of Old Acquaintance by Gerald Ayers (Foxes), is one of the worst Cukor has had to work with in his long career, redolent of strained staircase wit and false sophistication. The lead performances, by Jacqueline Bisset and Candice Bergen as two college friends who become competing novelists in later life, have the Cukor audacity without the Cukor grace, and his visual expressiveness is in evidence only sporadically. Yet the film stays in the mind for its dark asides on aging, loneliness, and the troubling survival of sexual needs. With David Selby and Hart Bochner (1981).

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