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Scarecrow on Seattle: THE FABULOUS BAKER BOYS

For the past few years, Scarecrow Video has been contributing reviews of movies made in the Pacific Northwest to the Seattle Office of Film + Music's e-newsletter (you may have seen some of them when we had our Scarecrow on Seattle rental section up last year). We're now proud to be able to share these reviews on our site as well.

 

 

 

 

The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)
The Fabulous Baker Boys opens with a just-before-sunset wide shot of the circa 1988 Seattle skyline and settles on Jeff Bridges slinking out of a one night stand from a building with a neon sign that says Captain's Vine Street Landing (where the Black Bottle is now) out in Belltown. From there he zigzags down First Avenue to Post Alley, cuts through the Market down to the Ivars on the waterfront, where he makes a dramatic leap to what looks like the steps of the Fairmont Olympic hotel up on 4th and University. That's about as much of Seattle as you see in this excellent drama written and directed by Steve Kloves (who would go on write Wonder Boys and adapt most of the Harry Potter movies). Bridges and his real-life sibling Beau play Frank & Jack Baker, middle-aged brothers who are veterans of the regional piano/cocktail/hotel bar circuit (there's no doubt that if this movie made in modern day Seattle, they'd be singing at Chopstix). They've been at it for so long that their relationship is starting to fray and familiar tunes are starting to sour. The more business and family minded Frank (Beau) decides they could use a singer to mix things up. Enter Susie (Michelle Pfeiffer), a somewhat scattered ex-escort with a voice of gold (Pfeiffer did all her own singing), and the new trio enjoy a brief stretch of success before the inevitable attraction sets in. Jack and Susie don't fall for each other so much as they just fall into each other. Their awkward relationship and her insistence that he's worth more than the small time lounges they've been playing--and that he knows it--sets off a chain reaction of events that threatens to sever the brothers' last remaining ties. Much of the film was shot in and around L.A., but there are a few more peeks of the city throughout, including a scene on top of Jack's Pioneer Square loft with a sun-drenched Smith Tower in the background.
-Jen Koogler

 

 

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