30 April 2013 | jjnxn-1
Not bad but something's missing
Okay sequel to the wonderful Funny Girl is missing several key ingredients that hold it back from the level of the first film. The most important would seem to be director William Wyler, who kept the first film moving even at an extended length this one plods here and there. The supporting characters here aren't as enjoyable or fleshed out as in the first, where is Kay Medford's wonderful mother? Most of the music is excellent, the problem with most is the staging. We only get snippets of many of them like "More Than You Know" and "Am I Blue" and several of the ones we do get full versions of are muddled, the worst is "It's Gonna Be a Great Day". Barbra gives a great rendition of the song but it's drowned mostly in long shots and the sound of the shuffling feet of the surrounding dancers. "Let's Hear It For Me" is a blatant ripoff of "Don't Rain on My Parade". There is a haunting version of "If I Love Again" though. Caan is alright as Billy Rose but he and Babs share little chemistry and he mostly shouts his part hardly making the most romantic leading man. As for Streisand, who made this under duress from a contract obligation, she is of course loaded with talent but seems brittle and haughty, two things Fanny Brice never was. The production design is excellent and some of the costumes are eye popping, the feathered dress in itself is amazing, but they are dressing up an average affair. Not a waste of time just don't go into it expecting the high quality of the first film.