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Friday, July 16, 2021

The MIrror has Two Faces

 We saw Streisand's The Mirror has Two Faces.  Jeff Bridges is a math professor who swoons before beautiful women so he decides he needs a sexless relationship, then marriage, with the ugly duckling Streisand, whose mother is played improbably by Lauren Bacall.  Streisand, who also directed the film, is a literature professor, also at Columbia university. After a little while, Streisand tries to seduce her husband; he rejects her, goes off to Paris on lecture tour. Bacall shows Streisand a picture of herself (Barbra) as a child, and she realizes that she is beautiful after all. She hits the gym (montage scenes), wears more make-up and revealing clothes.  Almost goes to bed with estranged husband of her beautiful sister (Pierce Brosnan), then her husband comes back, rejects her for being too beautiful... He liked the dowdy version of her because he doesn't want sex. But then he does. He has been in love the whole time and they get back together, presumably in a marriage that will now include sexual intercourse. 

The cast is full of famous names. The problem with the movie is its insufferable didacticism. And what point is it trying to prove, anyway? It feels self-indulgent, like a vanity project. I didn't feel like the ugly Streisand and the beautiful Streisand were that far apart. Literally, she the same person who is just as attractive one way as the other. Even the make-up she wears is not that different. She goes from being a 7 to an 8 on the beauty scale. Not that impressive. 

One critic calls it "a vanity production of the first order. A staggeringly obsessive expression of the importance of appearances, good looks and being adored,"  

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