Published Nov 22, 2016Hollywood legend Warren Beatty (Bulworth, Dick Tracy) has done it all. But with Rules Don't Apply, he's thrown everything and the kitchen sink out the window, creating one of his most subversive, strange and sexual films yet.
Following in the footsteps of other movies from 2016 like the Coen brothers' Hail, Caesar! and Woody Allen's Café Society, Rules Don't Apply focuses its attention on the Golden Age of Cinema.
Set in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Rules Don't Apply concerns the lives of Frank Forbes (Alden Ehrenreich) and Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins), two devout 20-something transplants trying to make it in Hollywood. Both of them work for, rather obliquely, eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes (played to perfection by Beatty), with Mabrey having recently joined the ranks of the numerous talented beauties on retainer for his film company, RKO Pictures, and Forbes being a driver moonlighting as a business student when he's not chaperoning girls from the company around.
Both have dreams of meeting their boss and working for him directly. While they wait patiently for their opportunity, a romance blossoms between the two acquaintances. When Hughes finally meets them, all three of their lives become intertwined and are drastically changed forever.
The premise may seem pretty simple, but the way the story unfolds is as unorthodox as the reclusive aviator and American entrepreneur. Scenes come and go at rapid-fire speed, and for a film that features a star-studded supporting cast, actors like Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Steve Coogan and Ed Harris show up for mere seconds of screen time.
At times, it can feel as if, like Hughes before him, Beatty is out of control at the wheel. But Rules Don't Apply is more than just a quirky character drama. For the most part, it deals with sexual repression.
Ultimately, Rules Don't Apply will probably be remembered as a polarizing movie due to its uneasy editing and unconventional pacing. But for those willing to dig a bit deeper, it's a rewarding watch. (Fox)