Rules Don't Apply
“Rules don’t apply” is not just the title to this romantic movie, but the director’s warning as well.
The film, set in the 60’s, is about billionaire Howard Hughes…sort of.
It’s actually about one of the many actresses he keeps under contract and the man who rises from one of his drivers to his right hand man.
It’s their love story with the real life eccentricity that was Howard Hughes shaping their careers, and since this is Hollywood, their professional lives are their personal lives.
Warren Beatty directs and stars a Howard Hughes, but it’s Woody Allen that Beatty is really playing at. The film is cut tightly, no transitions, with occasional whiplash that you’ll realize halfway through is intentional.
This is a movie about an eccentric, possibly mentally imbalanced, Hollywood director, and the movie is paced to illustrate that. The cleaner, modern camerawork is intercut with grainy period footage. Curveballs in the plot and time jumps abound.
Beatty plays a sympathetic Hughes, and Lily Collins, as the young actress Marla, is charming and brings a quiet strength to the role. Alden Ehrenreich, who plays the driver Frank, is a rising star. From the large shadow that Hughes casts, it’s Frank that holds the film together.
The film, chasing after it’s mad lead, is a fun ride cut into with a few bouts of reality.
It’s about the dreams we have and the ones that don’t pan out. This is no Hollywood fairytale, but it keeps a glimmer in its eye that promises real life might be even better. The typical moviegoers may find the film disorienting and too quirky for a night out, but those willing to throw convention out the window may find fun in a movie where the rules don’t apply.