ByMeekinOnMovies, writer at

Before "As Good As It Gets" James L. Brooks made this movie.

This movie,"I'll Do Anything" was initially filmed as a big-budget musical before test audiences reacted with such vitriol he axed the musical numbers and re-wrote a bunch of scenes.

This sounds like a recipe for disaster, but instead what you get is a movie with the whimsy of a musical, where characters are a bit more animated, a bit more eccentric, monologue often with wonderful results, and the score feels like a carnival.

James L. Brooks had his hands in 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' and 'The Simpsons', and a little classic known as "Terms of Endearment". Regarding 'The Simpsons', it turns out the episode Brooks had the most to do with, creatively, was "Lisa's Substitute". If you're seen it, you know he knows his way around a joke as much as he does a tender moment.

"I'll Do Anything" concerns a struggling actor who ends up responsible for his daughter, and is woefully unprepared to be a full time father after being mostly a deadbeat one.

He ends up dealing with a movie exec played by Albert Brooks, gets involved with a development executive played with effortless charm by Joely Richardson. Toward the end of the movie she delivers an emotional reaction to a certain character's performance that deserves wild praise.

And then we have Nan, played by Marge Simpson herself, Julie Kraver. Kraver and Richardson are brilliant in this movie, and worth the price of admission alone. If you find insight into the world of acting, movie development, and the wild world of Hollywood, it's worth taking a gander at this one.


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