Piano duo Jack and Frank Baker (Jeff and Beau Bridges) have been gigging so long that their act has become a stale routine of schmaltzy intros and cocktail favourites. Auditioning for a singer to spice up the brew, they land themselves with Susie Diamond (Pfeiffer), a tough cookie if ever there was one. The new act is a success, but Susie's intrusion into the brothers' settled ways causes complications: family-man Frank, half-preferring things the way they were, is worried that womaniser Jack will seduce and drop Susie, while she wants a say in shaping the musical repertoire. If Steve Kloves' directing debut, from his own script, is hardly original, it does play fresh variations on an old theme. Much of the credit must go to the actors, with the Bridges brothers making a superb double act. Jeff, especially, manages with very sparse dialogue to convey a wealth of information about a less than sympathetic character; indeed, understatement is crucial to the script's success, keeping us puzzled about characters and situation for longer than one might hope. Sadly, Susie doesn't fully escape stereotyping (though Pfeiffer proves she can belt out a song). Otherwise, with more than enough witty, well-observed details, it's a little charmer.
Cast and crew
Jeff Bridges Michelle Pfeiffer Beau Bridges Wendy Girard Ellie Raab Jennifer Tilly Xander Berkeley Dakin Matthews