Film Review: Two Stories Clash in Uneven ‘Rules Don’t Apply’

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CHICAGO – Movie icon Warren Beatty had wanted to make a film about 20th Century billionaire Howard Hughes for close to 40 years. On the heels of Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator,” Beatty has written, directed and portrays Hughes in “Rules Don’t Apply,” and has created a strange farce about the mogul and a romance tale around him.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

The two styles of stories clash with each other, as Beatty tries to be a completist in both. Watching the film, it favors Beatty’s portrayal and story about Hughes, with the romance of Frank and Marla – both Hughes employees – flitting around like an unwelcome guest. The film is interesting, however, as Beatty pays meticulous tribute to 1958 Hollywood, the year he came there to start his career. Howard Hughes ends up being the fly in the ointment for the couple, and the couple distracts from Hughes’ mad dash to avoid his company responsibilities and begin his life as a recluse. Even though the two stories collide unsubstantially at various points, the old Warren Beatty commitment to narrative detail ultimately makes the film worth seeing.

The story begins in 1964, as Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty) has begun his recluse phase, and he is scheduled to talk via phone to investors and interested press to prove he is still of sound mind. His aide, Frank (Alden Ehrenreich), is facilitating the situation, and doesn’t think it’s going to happen. This spurs a flashback to his first days with Hughes, in Hollywood during 1958.

Frank began as a driver, and one of the people he drove around was Marla (Lily Collins), a fresh-off-the-bus starlet from Virginia, who Hughes is mentoring to be a actress at his studio. Frank and Marla have an attraction for each other, but each is committed to their faith, which forbids pre-marital sex. Hughes, in the meantime, infiltrates the budding relationship, and changes both their lives.


”Rules Don’t Apply” opens everywhere on November 23rd. Featuring Warren Beatty, Lily Collins, Aiden Ehrenreich, Matthew Broderick, Candice Bergen, Martin Sheen, Ed Harris, Alec Baldwin, Oliver Platt and Annette Bening. Written and directed by Warren Beatty. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Rules Don’t Apply”

Rules2
Marla (Lily Collins) and Frank (Alden Ehrenreich) in a Scene From ‘Rules Don’t Apply’
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Rules Don’t Apply”

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