Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1992. Castle Rock Entertainment, Face Productions, New Line Cinema. Screenplay by Billy Crystal, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel. Cinematography by Donald Peterman. Produced by Billy Crystal. Music by Marc Shaiman. Production Design by Albert Brenner. Costume Design by Ruth Myers. Film Editing by Kent Beyda.
Touching fictional biopic that descends into sentimentality in its finale but not at great expense to the overall production. A show biz comedian (Billy Crystal, who also scripted and directed), reflects on his life while living out his senior days in middling obscurity, remembering the happy days (meeting his wife, having his own television show), and the bad ones (not being able to get a job as his star waned). Meanwhile, his brother and lifelong manager (David Paymer, who is superb) stands on the side to remind Crystal that the only thing that kept him from really making it big was his own negativity. Julie Warner is adorable as Crystal’s patient wife, while Crystal gives a tour de force performance that even ascends the bad aging makeup when he portrays his character in his senior years.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Supporting Actor (David Paymer)
Golden Globe Award Nominations: Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Billy Crystal); Best Supporting Actor (David Paymer)