Rules Don’t Apply is the latest film written, directed and staring Warren Beatty (Bonnie and Clyde) as the infamous director Howard Hughes. Set in the late 50’s, it tells the story of a young, devout Baptist Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins, Love, Rosie) who packs her bags for L.A. to make it as one of the next big stars of Hughes’ films. However, she meets and falls in love with her driver Frank Forbes (Alden Ehrenreich) and they must battle against Hughes strict rules against employee relationships and the boundaries of their religious beliefs.
The film predominantly focuses on small, quick scenes of little substance, which made the story difficult to become immersed in. Additionally, the dialogue was tedious and chaotic. It didn’t seem to follow a logical structure, which lead to many questions of ‘Wait, how did we get onto this topic?’ Similarly, the plot was all over the place and untidy without a lot of cohesion. It seems that Beatty used this as a stylistic choice to reflect the erratic behaviour that Howard Hughes was infamous for. This may have been easier to watch if the film was shorter or if this tactic was only used in selected scenes. However, considering the film was 2 hours long, it was a fairly exhausting watch.
Additionally, the old Hollywood world was confusing to someone without a great deal of knowledge about it. Beatty expected audiences to know who everyone from that era was and exactly what they did. Perhaps an older generation who grew up with Howard Hughes movies or individuals with a great interest in them might have been able to follow it more, but for anyone else it was confusing.
However, as chaotic and confusing as the film might have been, it was nice to be an entirely different era just for a little while. The fashion, the cars, the music, the hairstyles and the overall aesthetic were very commendable. After one watch, you will want to go back in time to a little old theatre and watch Singing in the Rain all day.
The casting was noticeably good with excellent performances from the leads, Lilly Collins, Warren Beatty (Bonnie and Clyde) and Alden Ehrenreich (Beautiful Creatures). Additionally, the appearances from Matthew Broderick, Martin Sheen and Candice Bergen were a nice addition to the promising cast.
Ultimately, this is not the classic film that you might have been hoping for but it is worth watching if you are a fan of Howard Hughes, old Hollywood or any of the leading cast. However, at the end of the day if you are craving watching an older movie, it would be better to simply just watch a movie that was made in that decade.
Rules Don’t Apply to buy or rent on digital HD on Wednesday 2 August