Classic of the Week: Funny Girl (1968)

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Funny Girl is a 1968 biographical romantic musical comedy drama film directed by William Wyler and starring Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Kay Medford, Anne Francis, Walter Pigeon and Mae Questel. The film is loosely based on the life and career of Broadway star and comedian Fanny Brice and her rocky relationship with gambler Nicky Arnstein.

The film starts out in New York City, just after World War I, with Ziegfeld Follies star Fanny Brice awaiting for her husband Nicky Arnstein’s return from prison. The film then moves into a long flashback telling the story of their meeting and marriage.

The film is filled with humor, romance, drama and music. “Don’t Rain on My Parade” is one of the film’s most well known songs and has been noted to be one of the greatest film songs of all time. There are some cute moments in this film, as well as heartwarming and heart wrenching. Not for a second did I find any of the songs or performing scenes cheesy.

Having a G rating isn’t completely appropriate, because there are adult themes in this film like, drinking, gambling, smoking, going to prison and sexual innuendos.  This all would have to be explained to younger viewers.

Barbra Streisand portrays Fanny Brice  brilliantly and every song she sings, she sings amazingly. She brings the comedy, cuteness and seriousness out of Fanny with such talent. Not one other person could’ve fit this character more perfectly than Streisand.

Omar Sharif is equally as outstanding as Nicky Arnstein, portraying romantic, loving, money hungry and selfishness. You end up with loving and hating Nicky throughout the film.

The film is never boring or cheesy. It is sad and angry at times though, but that is how the true story of Brice and Arnstein goes. This is definitely one of the best musicals and films I have ever seen and you don’t even have to like musicals or romance to enjoy it. This is truly a masterpiece that will have you wanting to watch it over and over again.

The songs are wonderful in this film as well as the comedy, the romance and the drama. An iconic film that everyone should add to their movie bucket list. There is no movie quite like this one, it is one of a kind. It’ll have you tapping your feet, crying and angry. This truly young Barbra at her best. Don’t let anyone “rain on your parade” and watch this wonderful work of art, you won’t regret it. 8+ 5/5

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