23
Feb
12

Funny Girl

Funny Girl (film)

Image via Wikipedia

One of the films I watched on my flight to China was Funny Girl, which I haven’t seen in ages. This story of a talented ugly duckling, Barbara Streisand as Fanny Brice stills entertains. So many great songs – Second Hand Rose (which keeps replaying in my head) People, I’d Rather be Blue Thinking of You, Don’t Rain on My Parade. Barbra sings them all so well.

The movie hits all the right notes  showing a Jewish girl from Henry Street make it big despite not fitting the image of the WASPish beauty most Ziegfeld girls did.  Of course, you wish her chutzpah extended to the wisdom to know that all that glitters isn’t gold and that debonair gambler Nick Arnstein wasn’t all he seemed cracked up to be.  I suppose part of the plot’s momentum is watching the impending wreck we see coming before Fanny does.

As much as I liked Funny Girl  and appreciated the dark theme of “be careful what you wish for, ” I’d like to see a new movie about Fanny Brice, something more realistic that reveals more about the relationship between Fanny and Nick, showing whether Fanny ever saw her insecurity as her Achilles’ heel.

Checking out Wikipedia’s entry on Brice makes for interesting reading. Evidently, she came from a well-off family and Arnstein was her second husband. He was a mooch and not as honorable as the play or film make out. While the truth might not have gone over with a 1964 or ’68 audience, I think contemporary audiences could go for the realism.

Despite the poor food and scandalous baggage fees, I will applaud United Airlines for its improved entertainment selections. Between the recent movies, classics and TV offerings it’s easy to while away the 12+ hours from Chicago to Beijing.


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