Jeff Bridges (my all time favourite actor) is pretty much the seal of quality on any film as far as I’m concerned, and in this movie, he stars alongside his real life brother Beau Bridges; a terrific actor in his own right. The two men have great chemistry together, playing the Baker brothers – maybe because of their real life relationship.
The Fabulous Baker Boys have been playing piano together professionally for 15 years. Frank (Beau) is the older, responsible brother, for whom it is a business, a job, his way of providing for his wife and children. Jack however, is the wayward younger brother, who is bad with responsibility and cares less about the business side of their partnership than their music. On his nights off, he sometimes plays piano for the sheer joy of it at a little known bar in his neighbourhood, and it is clear that he gets far more pleasure out of this, than he does out of playing as his ‘job’. For Jack, it is the love of the music that counts.
Nonetheless, bills have to be paid, and when their double act starts to feel a bit ‘tired’ they decide to hire a female singer to join in their act. Enter Michelle Pfieffer, who is terrific as Suzie Diamond, a gorgeous and talented singer, and the first woman to ever really get under Jack’s skin. Her entrance into their lives and careers changes the dynamic of the act and the brothers’ relationship.
The characters were brought to life by the three main leads – and the attraction between Jack and Suzie meant that some of their scenes were practically sizzling with heat! Jack’s dissatisfaction with his life, and Frank’s dissatisfaction with his brother is almost palpable.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film, which had a very sensual feel to it, and a great soundtrack. I will admit however to being slightly disappointed at the ending, but that is just a small grumble.
Year of release: 1989
Director: Steve Kloves
Writer: Steve Kloves
Main cast: Jeff Bridges, Beau Bridges, Michelle Pfieffer