Isn't She Great

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Isn't She Great Movie Poster Image
Midler's character is empty, boring, selfish.
  • R
  • 2000
  • 95 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages
Violence

Some sad moments.

Sex

Many sexual references.

Language

Some strong language.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that in addition to a sour moral vacuousness, this movie includes explicit sexual references.

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What's the story?

In ISN'T SHE GREAT, Bette Midler plays Jacqueline Susann, sensationally untalented but best-selling author of the very sensational "Valley of the Dolls." Susann has just one goal in life: to be famous. She wants "mass love."

Is it any good?

It would have been better if Jacqueline Susann had written this movie; it would have been dumb and unbelievable and even grotesque, but it would not have been boring. The tag line for the movie is "Talent isn't everything" and indeed, that is its theme. The movie has clever dialogue and bright direction, but it wants us to love Jackie as much as her adoring husband does (the title is taken from his favorite comment about her). We can feel sympathy for her. She has an autistic child and becomes very ill with breast cancer. It's fun to see her triumph over her stuffy editor's urgings on grammar, consistency, and taste. And it is always nice to see someone's dream come true.

But this dream is so selfish, so trashy, so empty that we just don't like or believe her. The movie's point of view seems to be that a fantasy of fabulousness wrapped up in Gucci pantsuits and manicured poodles is enough to engage us. Jackie herself would never have created a character so shallow -- not a female character, anyway.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the idea that talent isn't everything -- is this true?

Movie details

For kids who love true stories

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