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That Old Feeling

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The old feeling director Carl Reiner and screenwriter Leslie Dixon have in mind for That Old Feeling is the hotcha-cha attraction that resurfaces between over-flamboyant exes Lilly (Bette Midler) and Dan (Dennis Farina), when they meet up again at the wedding of their under-flamboyant daughter (wholesome Chicago Sons regular Paula Marshall) to a prig with political ambitions (Jamie Denton). The old feeling this coarse, braying, unimaginative comedy evokes, however, is La Cage aux Folles-itis — a growing irritability at displays of campy bitchiness substituting for a real sense of humor. Midler, in particular, is in tarnished full-brassy mode. Remarried to a psychobabbling marriage counselor, played by the always amusing David Rasche, Lilly spoils for a catfight with Dan’s second, trophy wife (NYPD Blue alumna Gail O’Grady, showing a nice comedic ability) by resorting to that tiredest of First Wives Club tricks: dishing her rival’s surgically enhanced appearance. Hollywood ladies (and, particularly, beloved Bette), please, can we call a moratorium on shtick about what ”work” a woman has had done? The obsession is, like, tacky.

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