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February 10, 1987 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-02-10

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4

Page 8 -- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 10, 1987
'Outrageous'ly madcap

by Jenny Putz
Put the adventure and suspense
of Raiders of the Lost Ark together
with the hilarious plight of
unemployed actors in Tootsie and
what have you got? Outrageous
Fortune, of course! Though it
seems an unlikely combination, the
perfect chemistry between Shelley
Long and Bette Midler, and the
great script, make it all possible.
In the movie, Lauren (Shelley
Long), a prim and proper lady prone
to wearing lace and pearls, is a
struggling New York actress. Even
though her parents have loaned her
$37,000 for acting lessons, she
can't get a job, much less a date.
When she finally does get asked
out, it's only by a gay dancer who
wants to "do research for straight
roles." At long last, she encounters
the man of her dreams (Peter
Coyote), who charms her off her

feet and straight into bed with one
fell swoop. True to her luck, Mr.
Right is also sleeping with a loud-
mouthed floozy in Lauren's acting
class (Bette Midler). This is Sandy,
a dime-store tramp who decorates
herself with trashy outfits and
earrings stolen "off of a Christmas
tree at Saks." Sandy's proudest
moment was starring in the newest
porno, Ninja Vixens.
Thus, the stage is set for a
madcap weirdo adventure involving
the ladies, the lover, and true to
Hollywood style, the KGB and the
CIA. Even though the plot
becomes a little predictable, the
spies multiply, and invention
doesn't reach great new heights, the
laughs and good feelings keep
things going smoothly.
At first, Long and Midler
absolutely hate each other, but as
the film progresses, they become a
memorable pair. Big films in the
past have spotlighted only male
friendships, but screenwriter Leslie

Dixon has simply changed the
genders and given us the first
"buddy picture" about women.
Shelley Long does an excellent
job of portraying a character similar
to Diane on the hit TV show,
Cheers. This, matched up with the
typical brazen hussiness of Bette
Midler, provides for a wealth of
side-splitting lines and character
play-offs.
A word of warning before you
go to this highly recommended
movie: sit near a speaker and
preferably away from other people.
If you don't, you won't be able to
hear a thing over the laughing
crowd. This is serious! I nearly
missed the movie because the
woman behind me laughed like Ed
McMahon the WHOLE TIME. So
if you're in the mood for a
wonderfully fresh comedy, grab a
date, drive over to the Fox Theater,
and have a great time watching
Outrageous Fortune.

4

4

'Outragoeus Fortune' deals with two actresses, Shelley Long and Bette Midler, on an all-out chase
through New Mexico.

R
a

Books -
Anywhere But Here
Mona Sirpson
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
$18.95
The mom's a nut, and the daughter's a mess because
of it. Try to imagine Blanche DuBois and a female
MHuck Finn-escaping together across the country in a
desperate effort to be "Anywhere But Here." They leave
the small town atmosphere of Bay City Wisconsin in
their white unpaid-for Lincoln Continental, and head
for California, for the American Dream: Adele to marry
a man, and Ann to become a child star.

Sound bizarre? That's not all that happens. Adele
has a nasty habit of deserting her kid on the highway
when she gets mad at her, and occasionally threatens
suicide, to 10-year-old Ann of course. Once she did it
over the phone.
"'I'm going to have an accident.' Her voice sounded
make-believe and serious at the same time.
'Why, Mom?' That was all I could choke out. I
looked around the room, the empty walls, the dark
windows.
'You don't love me and so I-'
I whimpered. 'Mo-om, I do, I love you.'
'No, you really don't, Ann. I know.' "
Not surprisingly, Ann has a hard time dealing with
these kinds of emotional torment and when she has her

first TV audition, she cracks, and imitates her mother.
"And I don't know what happened, I went dark.
Pigeon-toed and knock-kneed, I bent down and started
pulling things out of my bags. 'A dress, a ladies' room
please. Just because I want to clean up a little doesn't
mean I don't, I have Dignity. Yes Dignity, with a
capital D. I may not have money, but class.' I was
tripping, leg over leg, and it went on a long time, I put
on makeup without a hand mirror. I changed without a
bathroom, pulling my dress over my head, I faked
those air machines that blow your hands dry. 'There,' I
said, landing on the floor, my stuff a strewn pile, my
makeup smeared, hair two panels in front of my face.
'Don't you feel better clean? Yes, I do, much, much
better. You can seat us now, please.' I'd mimicked

people all my life, but that was the first time I'd done
her."
This is a fair example of what goes on throughout:
"Anywhere But Here." But the book isn't entirely from
Ann's point of view, although hers is by far the most
interesting and the most developed. Adele, Ann's
grandmother Lillian and her aunt Carol both add their
two cents. This structure makes the conclusion a bit
weird. The last we hear from Ann is 40 pages from the
end, and that insult to feminism, Adele, narrates the
last chapter. However, it serves a purpose. It shows us
what a ding-bat Adele is (as if we didn't know already).
Good reading on a coast-to-coast flight.
-Rebecca Cox

Jett: A rising star in 'Light of Day'

(Continued from Page 7)
years ago, gone on the road, and
"been somebody."
Light ofDay deserves a hand for
not evolving into what writ-
er/director Paul Schrader calls "a
music film about demos and limos
SALE!
COPIES
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FEB.9-13
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1220 S. University
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747-9070

- all that star-search bull."
Schrader's commitment to the Ras-
nicks' grassroots drama is evident in
the gift he gives to his actors: a
virtual no-fail script, hindered only
by an occasional cliche and an ill-
conceived, contrived revelation from
Patti's past.

Schrader's nearly flawless screen-
play, along with John Bailey's stark
cinematography, creates an un-
romanticized view of working-class
surroundings and a family's struggle
to overcome its very real dilemmas.
A hard-driving soundtrack, with
solid contributions by Jett and Fox,

underscores the sensitive, original
treatment of the family's ensuing
tragedy.
Throughout Light of Day is the
sensation of being in Cleveland, of
whiffing spilled beer and stale
cigarette smoke, of being cast into
our own role of sympathetic wit-
ness to real-life drama.

4

Druckman: The composer lives

(Continued from Page 7)
Using a tympani stick, bow, and
his hands, soloist Charles Tomlin-
son alternately tapped rhythms on
the body of the instrument and-on
the strings. He also hummed, spoke
text in a rapid whisper, and often
groaned and sighed as if in sexual
ecstasy. (Well, he did!) The title,
Valentine, refers to the soloist's
close relationship with his instru-
ment and the sense of lovemaking
that pervades the composition. Dur-
ing the applause, Tomlinson
acknowledged his instrument as if it

were a fellow performer, a strangely
appropriate action due to the intim -
acy of the piece. The audience,
appreciative of this rapport, shouted
encore at the conclusion of this
piece. But Tomlinson appeared too
tired to do it again.
Songs from the Mountain by
Nicholas Thorne was less impress-
ive than the Druckman pieces. Due
to the polyphonic nature of the
piece, the four movements sounded
too similar to be interesting. Each
instrument had its own independent
line that created a confusing and

repetitive sound. All that instru-
mental activity overpowered tenor
Stanley Cornett and made the text
difficult to understand. However,
the piece successfully imitated the
character of a woodland setting,
sounding like a forest full of
wildlife.
Druckman's outstanding com-
positions served as the foundation
for an excellent performance. The
Contemporary Directions Ensemble
treated Druckman's music with a
sensitivity and clarity that pleased
both the composer and the audience.
Yet, as someone asked Druckman
in the lecture the preceded the per,
formance, has contemporary music
reached a stasis? Those present at
Sunday night's concert will surely"
agree heartily with Druckman's
assertion: "Thank heavens, no.
We're changing all the time."

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