Watch Big Business
- 1 hr 37 min
Big Business is a delightful 1988 comedy film directed by Jim Abrahams and starring Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin, and Fred Ward. The film tells the story of two sets of identical twin sisters who were accidentally mixed up at birth at the fictional Mayfield Maternity Hospital in the small town of Jupiter Hollow, West Virginia. The four women eventually cross paths and chaos ensues. Sadan (Bette Midler) and Rose Shelton (Lily Tomlin) are two wealthy businesswomen from New York City who grew up in Jupiter Hollow. They are the CEO and the Chairwoman of Moramax, respectively, a huge conglomerate set to take over the struggling town. Rose and Sadie never knew that they had twin sisters until Rose found a photo of four babies taken on the day they were born, and Sadie discovered the same photo earlier in the film. The other two were raised by a poor family in Jupiter Hollow: Rose Ratliff (Lily Tomlin) and Sadie Ratliff (Bette Midler). The Ratliff twins are not well off, but they are content with their simple life in Jupiter Hollow. Rose Ratliff is married to Roone Dimmick (Fred Ward), a successful businessman who seeks to cash in on the Moramax buyout. Meanwhile, Justin (Michael Gross), an executive of Moramax, hires Sadie Shelton to be his assistant, seeing her as a young version of her sister. He brings her back to New York City to help with the Merger between Moramax and Consolidated Companies. The film relies heavily on the physical resemblance of the two sets of twins, with Midler and Tomlin portraying both Princess-and-the-Pauper-style role swaps and absolutely hilarious cases of mistaken identities. The comedic performances of Tomlin and Midler are particularly strong, particularly when they're playing each other's characters. Each actor brings her own hysterical brand of humor to her dual roles. Ward is equally entertaining as Roone. As the Shelton twins and the Ratliff twins find themselves in the middle of business deals, a possible romance showdown between the Shelton sisters and Roone, and more mix-ups that quickly spiral out of control. The comedic tension builds until the two sets of twins finally come face-to-face in a hotel lobby, leading to a raucous chase around New York City. The film's humor is broad and often slapstick, but it works effectively within the film's structure. The farcical tone is aided by the superb production design and an infectious score by Lee Holdridge. The film also manages to balance that comedy with sweet and heartwarming moments, particularly between the sisters, regardless of whether they grew up in wealth or poverty. In conclusion, Big Business is a hilarious comedy that showcases the comedic range of its two stars, Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin. The film is a fun, lighthearted story that effectively uses slapstick humor and hilarious sight gags to keep its audience entertained. With a cast filled with comedic veterans and a clever fish-out-of-water premise, this is a film that's sure to have you laughing from beginning to end.