New York Times - 01/28/2000
"...No one is more suited to playing a tease of a diva than Ms. Midler..."
Los Angeles Times - 01/28/2000
"...[Midler and Lane] are able to create a couple who are outrageous, endearing and, finally, heroic..."
Bette Midler gives her usual steller performance in ISN'T SHE GREAT, the story of Jacqueline Susann, pop icon and author of the runaway 1960s bestseller VALLEY OF THE DOLLS. When manager Irving Mansfield (Nathan Lane) meets his beloved, flamboyant Jackie, she is down-and-out, a failed Broadway actress who has just been dumped by her no-good husband. She's "too intense" for any roles she tries out for, and she longs to be famous. Irving longs for her, and vows to make her dream come true. Based on a New Yorker magazine piece by Michael Korda (who is one of Susann's editors) this entertaining biopic covers the milestones of Susann's unusual career and life, culminating in the unorthodox writing of the much-rejected novel that went on to become a spectacular bestseller, the birth of her autistic son, and her courageous and secretive battle with breast cancer. VALLEY OF THE DOLLS (made into a film starring Patty Duke and Sharon Tate) explored in detail the degrading downside of celebrity, but in life, Susann is as happy as a pig in mud with her own fame. Stockard Channing is brilliantly funny as Susann's best friend Florence, a thoroughly self-absorbed actress, and John Cleese puts in a hilarious performance as "hipster" publisher Henry Marcus. Meanwhile, Susann's uptight editor Michael Hastings (David Hyde-Pierce), becomes nearly paralyzed with horror when he realizes that her scandalous novel is going to be published.