Funny Girl



Dazzling musical romance is long but entertaining.
  • Review Date: January 31, 2012
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Musical
  • Release Year: 1968
  • Running Time: 165 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

With much effort and courage (and some good luck, too), talented performers can succeed; however, even great success doesn't necessarily bring personal happiness. Even the smartest and most gifted among us don't necessarily make the best decisions. It's helpful to use humor as a way of deflecting personal hurt and disappointment.

Positive role models

Fanny Brice is portrayed as a talented, off-beat, and spirited performer who chooses to retain her positive values even as she reaches the heights of show business success. She treats people well and is fair, honorable and generous. Still, she blindly trusts and loves a man who is weak and self-destructive, subjecting herself to heartache because of him.

Not applicable

One suggestive -- and sometimes comic -- song finds Nick Arnstein seducing the innocent young Fanny Brice. At the end of the song, they kiss and sink down onto a sofa. It's implied thereafter that they are involved in a sexual relationship. There are numerous passionate kisses between Fanny and Nick throughout. There is no nudity, but there are lots of revealing costumes. Trademark statuesque, beautiful Ziegfield Follies girls appear on stage in gowns which showing lots of leg and cleavage.


One "hell," one "damn."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Lots of social drinking in restaurants, at home, in gambling club, including to "drown their sorrows." Two leading characters smoke.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this elegant, romantic, and often funny musical is wonderful entertainment, but might be too long and mature for many tweens. The movie's nearly three hours focuses on the ups and downs in the romance of Fanny Brice and Nick Arnstein and includes some mature thematic material, such as marital woes and dishonesty. The romance includes Nick's smooth seduction of the innocent young Brice and hints of his promiscuity. However, there is no on-camera sexual activity other than passionate kissing and embracing, and no nudity. Many of the glamorous costumes reveal a lot of leg and have plunging necklines. Characters do plenty of social drinking and leading characters smoke cigarettes.

What's the story?

Fanny Brice (Barbra Streisand, in an Academy Award-winning performance), an icon of comedy and music of the 1930s and 1940s, makes her way from the Jewish ghetto in New York City to the glittering heights of Broadway while she is still a very young woman. Discovered by the famous Florenz Ziegfield (Walter Pidgeon), known for his Follies and the beautiful Ziegfield Girls who fill the stage in his shows, Fanny begins as a novelty act and becomes his biggest star. But her personal life follows a different path. She is hopelessly in love with Nicky Arnstein (Omar Sharif) a gambler who makes dubious choices and is guided by questionable values. They marry and have a child, but Nick's pride and his mistakes threaten their relationship and Fanny's happiness.

Is it any good?


Made in 1968, this is one of the richest musical films of its era, a highlight in a period of filmmaking that was filled with great material. FUNNY GIRL (recipient of eight Academy Award nominations) is comprised of an extraordinary performance by Barbra Streisand in her first film role, dazzling production values with wondrous costumes and sets, a musical score with multiple show-stopping numbers, and a heartfelt story. What's more, the subject matter -- a young woman who becomes a great star but is naive in affairs of the heart -- gives the film emotional complexity and an ending that defies tradition.

Teens with an interest in musical theater or costume design might find this film particularly inspiring. It is interesting to note that the movie took considerable liberties with the real story -- particularly the events in the life of Nick Arnstein and Fanny's naivete -- and that Ray Stark, the producer, was, in fact, Fanny Brice's son-in-law, married to her daughter, Frances Arnstein. A movie sequel Funny Lady, also starring Barbra Streisand as a more mature Fanny Brice, was released in 1975.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the fact that most traditional movie romances follow a familiar pattern: "girl meets boy; girl loses boy; girl gets boy back" (or vice versa). How does this movie differ? What other memorable musical love stories have veered from the traditional path?

  • Other than her singing voice and comic gifts, what personal qualities do you think made Fanny Brice successful?

  • The filmmakers are known to have made significant changes from Fanny Brice's real story when adapting it for the stage and film. Does this matter to you? If it does, what resources are available to give you more information?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 19, 1968
DVD release date:October 23, 2001
Cast:Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Walter Pidgeon
Director:William Wyler
Studio:Columbia Pictures
Topics:Arts and dance, Music and sing-along
Run time:165 minutes
MPAA rating:G
Awards/Honors:Academy Award, Golden Globe

This review of Funny Girl was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byZoelopez December 31, 2013

Great songs bad script

Funny Girl is defiantly a classic. I'm a huge musical theater fan who can't get enough of Babs so this movie is for me! But kids who don't know Bab's or don't have an interest in musicals might not like it. The musical focuses on Fanny Price, an aspiring actress who wants to make it into the Broadway business. She meets a man named Nick and falls in love with him. The songs are amazing but the script doesn't really make it up to your expectations. There is a bit of sex mentioned and Nick ends up going to jail so there is some adult situations. The musical is okay but it doesn't age well.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Adult Written byR.Richardson May 8, 2012

Funny Girl

The movie is centered around Fanny Brice who wants to make it in showbizz. One thing is that it implies that she is in a relationship with sex without being married.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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