Warren Beatty hasn’t directed a film since 1998’s political satire Bulworth, but that doesn’t mean the 15-time Academy Award Nominee has been slacking off. Over the years, Beatty has garnered a reputation for taking an abnormally long time between his directorial projects, and he tells EW that his most recent hiatus was extended because he was having so much fun at home with his wife, actress Annette Bening, and their children.
But now the time has come for Beatty to return to action, both in front of and behind the camera, with the romantic comedy Rules Don’t Apply. Set in the latter years of Hollywood’s Golden Age, the story follows Marla (Lily Collins), a young actress contracted to work for eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes (Beatty). An attraction develops between Marla and her driver, Frank (Alden Ehrenreich), which violates Hughes’ most improtant rule: no employee is permitted to have an intimate relationship with a contract actress.
Check out the first trailer and official synopsis for Rules Don’t Apply.
An aspiring young actress (Lily Collins) and her ambitious young driver (Alden Ehrenreich) struggle hopefully with the absurd eccentricities of the wildly unpredictable billionaire (Warren Beatty), who they work for.
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.
Beatty has been interested in Howard Hughes for most of his career, and had always planned to make a film about the unconventional mogul. But a biopic never seemed like the right choice, especially after Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar-nominated performance in Martin Scorcese’s The Aviator. He finally broke the story a few years ago, opting to push Hughes into the background and focus on the budding relationship between the two younger characters.
My excitement to see Beatty onscreen again is second only to my curiosity about Ehrenreich, whose breakout performance in Hail, Caesar! – another Old Hollywood period piece – ultimately led to his casting as the younger version of Han Solo for an upcoming Star Wars spinoff. This should be a great opportunity to further assess his talents, and working with someone like Beatty can only spell great things for the young actor.
Rules Don’t Apply will open in theaters on November 23.
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