Before there was an Angelina Jolie, there was the luminous and stunning Michelle Pffeiffer, who could stop men in their tracks with just her eyes. In The Fabulous Baker Brothers, she does it all with her face, voice, and body in one of the most remembered renditions of "Making Whoopie," a hallmark performance on the par with Rita Hayworth's rendition of "Put the Blame on Mame."
A charming story of brotherly love, it features bachelor kuul dude, Jack (Jeff Bridges) and nerdy family guy, Frank (Beau Bridges),as a middle aged piano duo who have been a performing act since children. They play the circuit of small rooms in chain motels and hotels, cocktail lounges, and bars over 300 nights a year and have made a successful, if unnoticed living. However, with cuts to their expected schedule, the brothers realize they must make a change and take on a sexy vocalist, Suzy Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer). Suzy is a size 6, chain-smoking, foul-mouth, show-stopper beauty who cleans up well, and complicates the brother's ordered lives by asking for equal billing, and her photo on the marquee card. Adding to the dilemma, Suzy knows she does not like singing "Feelings" night after night, or "Bali Hi."
Jack wants Suzy for his own duet, but not the complications of a true commitment. Frank just wants Suzy to not swear into the microphone. The strain of a new member in to the daily grind on the road takes its toll on the brother's relationship, as Suzy's presence finally awakens Jack from his complacent attitude towards his life, and Frank, to stand up for himself and their professional career.
The real life brothers, Beau, the cute one, and Jeff, the hunk, are never more true to themselves portraying brothers, who long ago put their desires and needs on the back burner. These performances are subtle, mature, and nuanced and a joy to watch. Michelle Pfeiffer's presence is worth the price of admission if only to watch her writhe on the Steinway, and her vocals are her own. One of the better performances by an actress recognized for her beauty, she proves her chops and vocal talent with Suzy's quixotic mixture of tough-girl and model chic.
As a trio, the cast mesh and support each other as a musical drama with hi and low notes given the attention worthy of a concert performance.