Funny Girl (review)

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Nicky Arnstein, Nicky Arnstein… If dreamy Omar Sharif isn’t enough to send you running to the multiplex for the revival of William Wyler’s (Ben-Hur) 1968 musical Funny Girl, then know that some chick named Babs appears in it, too. Legendary diva Streisand won an Oscar for her performance as legendary Ziegfeld girl Fanny Brice, who conquered Broadway in the early part of the 20th century on her sheer talent, using her less than glamorous looks in the self-deprecating humor that helped make her a star — who else but Babs could have portrayed her so well? Fanny’s relationship with Sharif’s (Lawrence of Arabia) ne’er-do-well Arnstein descends into dull melodrama after the intermission — the overture is included in this “roadshow” format, too — but Fanny’s can’t-miss musical/comedy numbers — her take on Swan Lake, the lavish “Beautiful Bride” production number she makes her own in her Ziegfeld debut — are here in all their Technicolor glory, beautifully restored and with a digitally remastered soundtrack. Great film it isn’t, but it sure is a helluva lot of fun.

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