12. Up Close and Personal

Disclaimer: My fiancé coaxed me into watching this film.

In Up Close and Personal, Michelle Pfeiffer stars as Tally Atwater, a young and aspiring television reporter in Reno, Nevada.  Having no experience or higher education, she sends off a faked demo tape to many stations promoting her supposed skills and experience.  A veteran television producer Warren Justice (Robert Redford) takes notice and gives her a chance at his Miami network affiliate.

As Tally convinces Warren to give her a shot as the weather reporter, her unorthodox charm and forward approach in reporting quickly earns her attention as well as jealousy from the other anchors and reporters.  Meanwhile, Tally and Warren’s flirting evolves into something more serious.  Tally gets a promotion to Philadelphia where she finds more confrontation and static from those who envy her individuality and fresh approach.

Tally and Warren navigate through their long distance relationship and television politics and eventually decide to marry.  The film plods along with little suspense until Tally is caught up in a prison riot during a routine report.  She is trapped inside the prison with a camera and earns instant national attention as she is trapped amongst the violent prisoners, with Warren directing the footage and proving emotional support throughout.  Due to her courage and persistence, she finally lands a reporting job with the national network news program.

With a predictable and generic storyline (aside from a surprisingly tragic ending), Up Close and Personal can’t even be saved by usually dependable actors like Pfeiffer and Redford.  The middle section of the film seemed to be going nowhere and I had almost lost complete interest by the time the prison riot erupted.  An underwhelming and lethargic film experience.

2.5 stars out of 5…

P.S. – The actor that played the owner of the Miami Dolphins from Ace Ventura (“find the fish or find new jobs!”) had a couple of scenes in this movie, which was slightly amusing since I’d never seen him in anything else!



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Categories: 100 Films

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