Rules Don’t Apply
A Review By Ben Hunter
2 Out Of 5 Stars 


While thinking it isn’t unoriginal and shamefully unprecedented, it does just that.  


Ahh to be young.  Yet another quest to make it big in the city of stardom.  Another story to reveal our true character when put to the test.  Another gosh darn “I’m trying to find myself while pursuing a fantasy” potboiler.  

Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins) arrives in Hollywood from her cuteness, allured by mega billionaire Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty), in the later part of his career when he was starting to lose his wits.  So every cute actress he wanted to sleep with was granted a house.  Shortly after having his way with Marla, every actress benefited a car as well.  And some even hit the jackpot, such as Marla, and got one of the few rings he had in a junk drawer.  Anything for a woman’s body.  So much so that his drivers had to slow down to a rolling stop at all discomfort of the pavement to not as much as to disturb the precious and sacred bodies of the women who worked for him.  

Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins) fights to keep her dignity while finding her voice in Rules Don't Apply.  
Every week, they’d line up outside the movie studio block, like hankering felines for pasteurizing nutrition, as a signature of receipt of payment was dangled from an aloft fenestra.  All to receive their due in tantalizing delight of their chauffeurs keeping sure to carefully keep their precious bodies in tact.  One such autoist, Frank Forbes (Alden Ehrenreich, who I keep mistaking for Emile Hirsch), can’t seem to put aside his opposing denomination to that of Marla’s.  Working with Hughes drives them mad, it drives them mad at him, it drives them mad at each other, and it also drives them madly in love.  They know that the rules just don’t apply to them because they discover what they’ve known deep down all along who they are, what they’re willing to fight for, and just how much love brings us all closer together.  
At least that’s what the marketing would have you to believe.  In fact, based on how this film was presented in quick fashion, one would think they’re in for a treat.  To be convulsed in such chuckle, all in a sophisticated manner.  Classy comedy that intrigues and delights a person, while cultivating them simultaneously.  I was eager to crack open my history text about Hughes, and relive his obsessive compulsive disorder with hygiene and vocal expression.  To revive some of Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator, one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s best, however in a more light-hearted tone.  Some of the moments Leo & Marty were depicted here, such as the very climax of the film as well as some dramatically loud moments of that narrative, but belittled and brushed aside as unimportant for this is a comedy.  Which I understood and was completely open and exposed to a new and fresh take on the material.  To be subdued by it’s comical nature.  A nature of fascinating expression that’s simply breathtaking.   

Kindred spirits find one another to relish the moment and period of time.  
I fought to keep awake.  
Comedy is harder than drama, and I was really looking forward to be entranced by a narrative full of wit and wisecrack that’s worthy of taking home the most prestigious prize of the year that a film can take.  Kind of like when Woody Allen finally gets it right.  But this was in the vein of when he fails miserably and gets it oh so wrong.  There’s nothing wrong with telling this story that’s been told before.  I get it, Hughes’ character was supposed to shake things up and make it interesting.  But good storytelling is good storytelling.  By the end of the film I was so let down that after 15 years in front of the camera and 18 behind it, this is what Warren Beatty chose to make a comeback with.  All presented as if I should be in vigorous appreciation as the credits gracefully disembarked over the beautiful piano theme of the film.  I struggled to find the meaning in the beauty.  

Rules Don’t Apply (2016)
Comedy, 126 Minutes, PG-13
Story By: Warren Beatty and Bo Goldman
Screenplay By: Warren Beatty
Directed By: Warren Beatty
Cast: Warren Beatty, Lily Collins, Alden Ehrenreich, Annette Bening, Matthew Broderick, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Steve Coogan, Ed Harris, Candice Bergen, & Paul Sorvino

Popular Posts