This week on Blu-ray and DVD from writer/director Warren Beatty and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes a story of a man who tries to show the world that in his universe “Rules Don’t Apply.”
It is 1958 Hollywood, California as billionaire Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty) has his hands in a little bit of everything. Running a business founded by his father, keeping his employees hopping and finding the next beautiful actress is a full time job.
Discovering one such actress, Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins) is a young woman who is beautiful, sings and is watched over by the discerning eye of mother Lucy (Annette Bening). Now under contract with Hughes, Marla is excited to finally be exactly where she’s always dreamed she’d be.
Driving the young woman and her mother around Hollywood is limo driver Frank Forbes (Alden Ehrenreich) who is secretly and equally thrilled to be meeting Mr. Hughes. Coming into contact daily with Marla, they forge a friendship that borders on romantic. What keeps the seriousness at bay is Frank’s 7th grade sweetheart who pretty much believes the two are practically married.
Hughes is struggling as well but with practically everyone in his life. Believing that long time friend Noah Dietrich (Martin Sheen) is trying to have him committed, Hughes pushes back leaving Nadine Henly (Candice Bergen) and Levar Mathis (Matthew Broderick) left to keep an eye on Hughes. Eventually, the billionaire turns to Frank as a trusted employee to guard Hughes interests.
Their friendship blooms as Marla waits for Mr. Hughes to finally make arrangements to meet her. It puts a strain on both young people as Hughes has strict rule that none of his employees is to come near his contract actresses. When it becomes clear that the two need to back away, Lily has an encounter with Hughes that changes the course of their lives forever.
When you have billions of dollars you have billions of problems but love isn’t one of them!
Beatty as Hughes gives the persona of a man who knows what he wants and doesn’t take “no” for an answer, in fact he really doesn’t take anything for an answer. His train of thought is so all over the place that it’s hard to get a question in edgewise, then again I don’t think I’d know how to ask him a question. Sound like I’m confused? Beatty gives Hughes a struggling nature that clearly affected every corner of his life. Mixed in with the sadness of this character I must admit to have the giggles a few times as his odd choices and Beatty makes most of it feel charming.
Collins as Lily is a young girl who just wanted to come to Hollywood and be a star. She has the look of the era and brings everything along with that in terms of attitude and beliefs. From a protective Mother to the guilt of passion, Collins is delightful and watching her character face the harsh realities is a cautionary tale to be sure.
Ehrenreich as Frank is a man on his own rise to glory. Finding the job with Hughes fascinating and challenging, he also sees potential for Hughes’ help in real estate development. Staying when most people surely would have left, Ehrenreich’s character comes to have a twisted understanding of his employer making it even more difficult to walk away.
Sheen as Dietrich certainly took his fair share of grief from Hughes and anytime Sheen is on the screen I’m all in. Bergen as Nadine is a woman who sees all but says very, very little. Broderick as Mathis is basically a Hughes ‘yes’ man or perhaps more of ‘it’s his life’ man.
Other cast includes: Paul Sorvino as Vernon Scott, Peter Mackenzie as Gene Handsaker, Dan Desmond as Gladwin Hill, Hart Bochner as Col. Willis, Madisyn Ritland as Bella and Louise Linton as Betty with appearances by Steve Coogan, Alec Baldwin and Ed Harris.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings award-winning global product and new entertainment to DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital HD. Their amazing collection offers fans an opportunity to expand their own home libraries with the best films. To discover what other titles they have please visit www.fox.com.
“Rules Don’t Apply” is a quirky tale of Hollywood love, Hollywood loss and a nutty billionaire in the middle of it all. It is such an interesting telling in that the love story between Frank and Lily is forefront and that is difficult enough for these two young people in 1958 Hollywood but to have Howard Hughes as your boss is nothing short of a huge fly in the champagne glass of love.
Seriously, Beatty steals the film with his portrayal of Hughes as one minute he is whimsical moved by a young girl singing to arrogance at finding no reason to meet with people face to face to literally flying by the seat of his pants lifestyle. I felt sorry for these two young kids dealing with a man who quickly shows that nothing else matters except banana bread ice cream (and I’ve never heard of it but would love to try it!)
The clothing, cars, home furnishings and settings of the era truly lend itself to quickly falling into the story with ease. Of course I may be a tad partial as a fan of most period pieces. The film didn’t over do it yet didn’t leave out the smallest detail, including granny panties – you’ll see.
“Rules Don’t Apply” Blu-ray and DVD include the Special Features “This is Rules Don’t Apply,” “Music Video ‘The Rules Don’t Apply’ performed by Lily Collins” and a “Gallery.”
If your ready for a little romance, a little twisted adventure, a couple of young people in love and a billionaire who is in the middle of it all then discover why the “Rules Don’t Apply.”
In the end — sometimes you have to learn the hard way when rules don’t apply!