I know that Richard Harris was not happy with the film, because it savaged his stage play in terms of re-write. I understand his take on this, but this film really, really works! Liza Minelli is terrific, apart from a couple of fluffs that were not, for some reason beyond me, re-cut.
The actors performances are superb. Julie Walters is unsurpassable as Vera; no-one could play it better. Maxine, Andy, Sylvia, Rose, Dorothy and ultimately Mrs Frasier and Gregory are characters truly brought to life by the actors solid representations of the personalities. Andy's husband is truly creepy; similarly Mavis's partner, Patrick.
I first saw this film in the cinema in 1991, and laughed so hard my stomach hurt. At other points I felt truly uncomfortable - especially Andy's domestic scene. All the audience reactions were the same. I defy anyone to watch this film for the first time and not lose their composure, completely, at Bill Irwin's rendition of 'windmills' in the gala dance. Hilarious!
This film is a masterpiece. It is funny, touching, dramatic and basically classy. I love it. I cherish my video copy, would love to see it tranferred to DVD and think it is one of the finest ordinary yet extraordinary pieces to emerge from 1990's cinema.