These Old Broads

Originally conceived as a big-screen star vehicle, this ghastly comedy/drama instead first saw the light of day on TV. Given that it doesn't serve its aging stars well, that was all for the best. In order to draw attention to his teleplay about US Presidents' wives, documentary filmmaker Wesley Westbourne (Jonathan Silverman) considers producing a TV spectacular...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Originally conceived as a big-screen star vehicle, this ghastly comedy/drama instead first saw the light of day on TV. Given that it doesn't serve its aging stars well, that was all for the best. In order to draw attention to his teleplay about US Presidents' wives, documentary filmmaker Wesley Westbourne (Jonathan Silverman) considers producing a TV spectacular for his mother, Kate Westbourne (Shirley McLaine). Back in the 1960s, Kate costarred with Addie Holden (Joan Collins) and Piper Grayson (Debbie Reynolds) in the smash movie musical "Boy Crazy" and since the film's reissue is cleaning up at the box office, network honcho Gavin (Nestor Carbonell) greenlights a TV reunion for the has-beens. Despite the obvious financial boost this special could give them, the former co-stars are reluctant to participate because they loathe each other. Through the diligence of their mutual agent, Beryl Mason (Elizabeth Taylor), the stars agree on a lucrative deal. Egos clash immediately as Addie plays mother hen to Kate's "adopted" son Wesley and puts the moves on Piper's husband. When the show's director can't handle his liquor or the divas, Wesley gets promoted to director. But even he can't salvage the disastrous rehearsals that threaten to cancel the project. Then Addie's jailed lover, Tony (Pat Harrington), busts out of the big house for a night of passion with his tootsie. Their lovemaking proves fatal to him, so Addie enlists the help of her co-stars in disposing of the body. Serendipitously, the press catches them in the act and bad publicity revives interest in the no-longer hot property. The show goes on. Can the Hollywood legends ever learn to play nice, especially after Addie forces Kate to reveal the truth about Wesley's parentage? Popping out bitchy one-liners and choking back crocodile tears, the veteran stars give this unworthy vehicle their considerable all. Trading on widespread knowledge of the actress's real-life dramas (Taylor once famously stole Reynold's hubby, Eddie Fisher, for example) this slovenly confection consistently belly flops through waves of soap opera confrontations and fag-hag humor.

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