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What's Up, Doc? (1972) 

Babs as Marge Schott? No? Oh well.

The best thing about this "screwball comedy" is a young, almost attractive Barbra Streisand -- comfortably removed from the insufferable, Yoda-faced bitch she plays in real life today. While she retains the most devoted following of the holy trinity of multipurpose disco-era divas, Streisand is the least relevant member of the crew. At least Bette Midler's always been a mildly amusing comedienne, while Liza has shrewdly leapt into self-parody with a recurring role on Arrested Development. Babs only yanks her slave-driving JAP fist out of James Brolin's bum for million-dollar Vegas one-offs and, inexplicably, Meet the Fockers, which wasn't funny at all (and this from Phyllis, who much enjoyed its predecessor).

At least in What's Up, Doc? Streisand almost breaks a sweat, playing a character other than a slight variation on true-life Babs. Granted, she isn't very good, but neither is anyone in this movie -- and neither is the movie. For those of you who still think Peter Bogdanovich deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Coppola, Scorsese, Polanski and Spielberg, watch this fender bender, and then watch Bogdanovich's Hu$tle, a Pete Rose biopic starring Tom Sizemore that aired on ESPN a couple years ago. While What's Up, Doc? actually made it to the 45-minute mark on Phyllis' VCR ticker, Hu$tle was so ham-fisted and towel-snappingly gay that it got the plug pulled after ten. Inspired casting in that "film" would have seen Babs in the role of dumpy, racist, nicotine-inhaling Reds' owner Marge Schott. But it just wasn't in the cards.

Each week the author treks to the Schlafly branch of the St. Louis Public Library, where a staff member blindfolds him and escorts him to the movie shelves. After selecting a film at random, Seely checks it out and reviews it.

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September 23, 2020

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