Funny Girl [1968]

Ah, Barbra. Of all her onscreen personas, she sparkles in none as she does in her role as 1930s comedian Fanny Brice in the musical Funny Girl. Portraying the life of this star of stage and radio, Brice preens and prances and sings, captivating her audience both onscreen and off. Fanny Brice started life on the Lower East Side of New York, the daughter of a Jewish saloon owner. Not the prettiest girl around, Brice still managed to quickly rise to stardom as a performer in the Ziegfield Follies. A shrewd, obstinate woman, Brice dictated her own success story on stage; things were a different matter in romance. Falling hard for the stunning Nick Arnstein (suavely played by Omar Sharif), Brice must navigate a difficult marriage. While kids may love the tunes (which include the now-infamous "People," as in "People who need people are the luckiest people in the world"), the plot is definitely adult-oriented. Enjoy this one, but don't go too far out of your way for the sequel, Funny Lady. --Jenny Brown

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