Maclaine, Reynolds and Collins are Still Boy Crazy
On paper "These Old Broads" sounds perfect with Shirley MacLaine, Debbie Reynolds and Joan Collins leading the way as aging movie stars who thanks to their manipulative agent played by Elizabeth Taylor reunite for a TV special despite despising each other. Add to this Carrie Fisher because not only does she have a cameo with her sister Tricia Leigh Fisher as a pair of hookers but Carrie has her hand in the writing as well. But the end result is that "These Old Broads" doesn't quite work and whilst there are some fun scenes as claws get sharpened with waspish banter a lot of it ends up dull.
40 years after the movie "Boy Crazy" was released it is still gaining audiences thanks to re-releases. It leads a studio to come up with an idea of doing a 40 year reunion with the stars of the movie doing a TV special and to do so they enlist Wesley Westbourne (Jonathan Silverman) to produce and direct. The trouble is that whilst Wesley is the son of one of the movie's stars, Kate Westbourne (Shirley MacLaine), they don't speak and Kate doesn't get on with her former co-stars casino owning Piper Grayson (Debbie Reynolds) and man eating Addie Holden (Joan Collins) who in turn don't get on with each other. So Wesley is forced to go to their aging agent Beryl Mason (Elizabeth Taylor) to persuade them to come together and that is just the start of his problems as these old movie stars really do not get on.
"These Old Broads" was written by Carrie Fisher and Elaine Pope but reminds me strongly of an 80s TV Movie called "My Boyfriend's Back" which feature 3 singers who don't get on being reunited for a TV special. And from a basic storyline point of view "These Old Broads" features many similar and obvious scenes as we have these aging stars taking verbal chunks out of each other as they struggle with rehearsals and Addie's sex kitten tendencies as she flirts with any man who comes close to her. It's not bad but to be honest this basic storyline is a bit of a procession and attempts to spice it up with Wesley learning the truth about who his mother is does little to distract you from how things are going to end up.
What this really means is that "These Old Broads" relies on two things; the collection of aging stars sharing the screen and then Carrie Fisher's inside knowledge of the movie industry. Now there is no denying that having Shirley MacLaine, Debbie Reynolds and Joan Collins along with a small part for Elizabeth Taylor is something quite special and considering they were all in their 60s when this was made they still are impressive. But at the same time this is hardly a movie which stretches them with maybe the exception of Joan Collins who does an impressive splits in one dance routine.
As for Carrie Fisher's inside knowledge well yes that does give "These Old Broads" some fun scenesnone more so when Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor share a scene discussing a former lover called Freddie, an intentionally poor pseudonym for Eddie Fisher. It also gives us a movie in joke with a scene reminiscent of "Weekend at Bernie's" which Jonathan Silverman starred in. But whilst there are some fun in jokes a lot of the humour falls excruciatingly flat especially a scene which sees Joan Collins and Debbie Reynolds going over the top singing in a gay nightclub.
What this all boils down to is that "These Old Broads" sounds better on paper than it is in reality as it falls flat due to some lame jokes and a storyline which seems to struggle for content. It is still entertaining especially with Shirley MacLaine, Debbie Reynolds and Joan Collins on screen together but in the end it is sadly forgettable.