Rules Don’t Apply, the Howard Hughes movie Academy Award-winning actor/director Warren Beatty has been trying to get “off the ground” for 40 (40!) years finally has a trailer. Apart from pretty shots of its many stars (like Lily Collins and Annette Bening), the trailer doesn’t exactly sell the movie as the kind of passion project a filmmaker spent the better part of his life creating. Reading its official synopsis doesn’t help.
It’s Hollywood, 1958. Small town beauty queen and devout Baptist virgin Marla Mabrey (Collins), under contract to the infamous Howard Hughes (Beatty), arrives in Los Angeles. At the airport, she meets her driver Frank Forbes (Ehrenreich), who is engaged to be married to his 7th grade sweetheart and is a deeply religious Methodist. Their instant attraction not only puts their religious convictions to the test, but also defies Hughes’ #1 rule: no employee is allowed to have any relationship whatsoever with a contract actress. Hughes’ behavior intersects with Marla and Frank in very separate and unexpected ways, and as they are drawn deeper into his bizarre world, their values are challenged and their lives are changed.
So it’s a mostly fictional romp about religion and sex and love and 1950s Hollywood and the studio system and Howard Hughes and, hey, the adorable new Han Solo is in it!
I suppose it’s nice that Beatty finally finished the dang thing, but I can’t help but picture Bening seeing the final cut and saying, after a pregnant pause, “Aw! Honey! It’s done!”