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Writer/director Brooks is knowing about the wisecracks, back-stabbings, political shifts, and innate decencies of the media game, and underpinning what is a charming, protean love-triangle is a serious statement about the function, value, and direction of television news. Aaron Altman (Albert Brooks) is brave, decent, witty, committed, and hopelessly in love with his Mensa-plus producer Jane Craig (Hunter, magnificent), a skilful but personally unfulfilled member of their Washington bureau. Enter Hurt's Tom Grunick, irresistable to women and station executives alike. Aaron is exceptional, but Tom has the looks and presentation to please corporate media America. He just can't grasp or weigh facts. So who gets the jobs, and who gets Jane? Brooks' script has some superb set pieces, crackles with furious one-liners, and mirrors fact. Though a little soft-centred, and closing with a too open-ended postscript, it confirms all the camaraderies and care beyond and behind the pressures and pratfalls, and manages to knock rivals in Yuppie-tography like Wall Street and Fatal Attraction sideways.

Release details

Duration: 132 mins

Cast and crew

Director: James L Brooks
Screenwriter: James L Brooks
Cast: William Hurt
Albert Brooks
Holly Hunter
Jack Nicholson
Robert Prosky
Lois Chiles
Joan Cusack
Peter Hackes