Carrie Fisher has successfully adapted her semi-autobiographical novel about a Hollywood actress' battle with drug addiction, broadening the conflict in order to accommodate family strife between brassy showbiz all-rounder Doris Mann (MacLaine) and her addictive daughter Suzanne (Streep). While the film works partly on the level of exposé, this relationship dominates; as a result, Dreyfuss (kindly doctor), Quaid (unreliable lover) and Hackman (avuncular director) have an almost functional status. Fisher's intelligence and humour turn what might have been movie brat indulgence into something much sharper and involving. Nichols has a sure feel for the material, and he's blessed with two great performances from his leads (particularly a gutsy MacLaine). Despite the serious themes, the film remains essentially lightweight, with an uplifting resolution. This is Hollywood, after all.