Copacabana (TV Movie 1985) Poster

(1985 TV Movie)

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Not a bad little movie
sgarry-121 August 2006
First off...I'm a Manilow fan, so my review of this movie can be considered a bit skewed. But, seeing that probably only people who ARE Manilow fans will be viewing this movie, I guess that's OK. For you Fanilows, please change the rating above to an 8, simply because Barry looks good in this and his charm shines through his mediocre acting ability. Obviously, the plot revolves around his 1978 mega-hit "Copacabana." If you know the song, you know the movie, but there are a few twists in the storyline. Annette O'Toole is FABULOUS as Lola--she's sweet and sexy, and doesn't have a bad voice herself. Mr. Bologna does an OK job as Rico, but it seems he's playing the same part as he did in "My Favorite Year." I kept waiting for him to ask if they were serving tongue at the Tropicana! Barry is the real star here. He shines in his songs "Sweet Heaven" and "Who Needs to Dream" and there are nice snippets of him playing some of his album-cut classic tunes as a piano bar performer throughout. The movie itself is a nice way to spend about an hour and a half of your time, but is necessary viewing for all Barry Manilow fans.
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Funny, not to be taken seriously, camp!
Scoop-819 December 1998
Reminiscent of the popular Latin American films in the '40s and '50s, the glitzy costumes, music, and performances blend for a camp experience. Just enjoy a clean, fun, not-to-be-taken-seriously piece of film. Forget your troubles for about two hours!
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Well above-average TV movie
ken-24320 December 2002
Underrated tribute to 40s screwball comedies and musicals. First rate score, excellent performances, and beautiful period settings. The feature film lighting is also quite remarkable for this time as most TV movies adopted flat TV lighting. Manilow interprets his own material far better than any of the Tonys in the

various stage musical versions that followed in later years. He's sort of a male Barbara Streisand with an underplayed comic edge, versatile acting skills, and a great voice. Too bad musicals were (and still are) dead by 1985. The

showcase number, "Who Needs to Dream" is both the highlight and the biggest

disappointment because it should have been staged better, even on a low

budget. It's reminiscent of Gene Kelly's famous "Singin' In The Rain" but without the rain and painfully static camera shots--cutting back and forth, back and forth between Tony and Lola. Tony (Barry) moves around a bit more toward the end,

but one is left with the impression this was the last scene they shot when they were out of money or time to do it right. The DVD version offers a beautiful transfer but, sadly offers no commentary or extra features.
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Who Needs To Dream?
Having owned a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy (you get the idea) of this film on VHS, I could hardly wait for the day when it was released on DVD. My husband and I bought two copies (each of us had to have our own). (laugh) The plot, the dialogue, the way the actors plays the roles...everything about this movie is charming. When Barry sings, "Who Needs To Dream?" I cannot help but cry. It's such an incredibly beautiful song. Copacabana is what I consider a "lost treasure." More people should realize the worth of this film. Too often, viewers feel that unless a movie is "deep" it isn't worth watching. Untrue. To lay beside the one who IS your "every dream come true" and relax while enjoying the film without effort is a pleasure. This is a must-have for all Manilow fans who should show it to friends. They may think that they won't love it ...but, they will. (smile)
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A true gem!
classicsbuff4 November 2005
OK, I have been looking for this movie for years, I can't believe it's FINALLY on DVD. ( I too had a worn out VHS copy that I lost). My sis & I can practically sing every song from this movie....We've loved the song copacabana since it came out (I was a little kid at the time) so when they made a movie about it we were stoked to watch it, and watch we did, over & over. This is campy fun, with great costumes & one of the few musicals with cuban characters (albeit not very authentic) so if you like Latin music & choreography and enjoy great original'll love this movie. All of Manilow's songs here are well-written & are woven into the story in a pretty ingenious way. So do the merengue & the cha cha, you're at the COPA!
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A pleasant surprise
LadyTODDfan14 July 2003
I must admit, I am a Barry fan, and any one who is will certainly enjoy this movie. However, even those who may not consider themselves fans will find this lighthearted musical comedy to be a treat. It's fast-paced, the musical numbers are splendid, and Barry Manilow is a surprisingly good actor. I wonder why he never did any more theatrical roles, other than this. Unfortunately, the DVD offers no additional insights or extras on this movie, a dissappointment. All in all, if you are a fan of the romantic comedies of yesteryear, "This one's for you, where ever you are...". They just don't make 'em like THAT anymore!
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Stupendous !!
midniteprincess15 June 2001
it was just SO great to see Barry in his first movie, i LOVED it so much.. he was excellent , ive been a fan of his for over 25 years and it was so neat and awesome to see him in the movie , he is so very talented and this showed off his talents perfectly !!!
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Sigh, I wish I could find the unedited version.
stumpmee7729 September 2008
I saw this movie when it first came out in and again several years later, on CBS also. Well the 2nd time around it was horribly butchered clearly to put its run time under 2 hours and stuff it full of commercials. I've been trying to find it that longer version for years cause yeah hey, Barry's on screen for more than an hour; I can live with that .

Okay Barry's passable actor. He's not as good as Gene Kelly but not as dismal as Neil Diamond (Two minutes of the "Jazz Singer" remake with Diamond on screen was all I could stomach). It has the distinction of being of 4 TV movie musical I could tolerate. The musical numbers are above average and the setting (refetrring to the time period) has a more authentic look than many movies over the last 20 years taking place in the 40s or 50s. Baring that sad ending; it brought back to mind MGM musicals.

My gripe with this movie, why I'm giving it an 8 is Tony, the character Barry plays--What (acting) reach is he doing??? He's playing himself! Manilow nut me has read books about him, every article I could get my mitts on and the background story is his life with a little tweaking here and there. Wish he had put himself in another movie genre first. As good entertain as it was, the chosen role for his debut was not a very good one.
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jimnixon4 October 2003
I have loved Barry Manilow's music since 1978. Someone really should have told him that he cannot act as his performance in this is embarrassing and excruciating to watch. His movie career hardly took off since, did it? Not recommended except to the fans who think he can do no wrong.
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Very old fashioned.
dave13-112 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This TV movie was supposed to turn Barry Manilow into a cross-over star, but didn't when the movie got lambasted by critics and failed to click with audiences. The movie wasn't nearly as awful as I had heard, and the leads - Manilow and Annette O'Toole - make an attractive and likable pairing. It also has a pretty good Big Band period look thanks to decent production values and some quite lovely costumes (mostly on the showgirls), but it was just SO familiar and predictable. It was clearly intended to be a throwback to the lushly romantic movies of Old Hollywood, but it would have benefited from not recycling THE hoariest story cliché from back then. Annette is the good girl with the frankly baffling attachment to a nasty boyfriend and Barry comes on the scene as the artistic nice guy third corner of the triangle. How many times have we seen this? The story elements were creaky fifty years before this thing was made and appeared in every genre of movie that had a romantic subplot (westerns, pirate movies, literally everything).

* mild spoiler * The title song features prominently of course and actually means a little something in the movie, but since the movie is based on the song, the lyrics are a bit of spoiler, especially to anybody who heard Copacabana played to death on the radio. Manilow's fans might find it worth watching simply because Barry has made so few movie appearances over the years.
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Embarrassingly bad
doug-33630 July 2006
Who knew that the man who wrote the songs can't act. Barry Manilow has always been a showman, yet somehow playing a showman (even an up and coming one) is beyond him. His acting is stiff that when he is shot at the end (this is not a spoiler, you've HEARD the song, there is no more plot to this fiasco than what you get in the song) he looks more like a redwood toppling to the floor than a human. If a Manilow falls in the movie and nobody watches it, what is the sound of no fans clapping. Add to that the awful makeup that "ages" Lola at the beginning and end of the movie, and you have a totally miss-able film. So why not a 1 vote? There was enough that I actually made it to the end of the film. It might be worth it to you for the badness, but the only entertainment value is making fun of this with your friends.
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