3 1/2 ouf of 5 stars. A fun watch that felt almost Neil Simonesque at points. Peter O'Toole's almost self-satirical performance is easily one of his best roles. A really fun period piece with a riotous ending.
A tad predictable towards the end but the ride is made enjoyable by outstanding comedic performances led by the always mesmerizing O'Toole. A stronger director would have taken My Favorite Year to greater heights.
Solid, well written comedy that makes making a solid, well written comedy seem easy. There are so many fine character parts that it's hard to say who’s the star. Of course there's Peter O'Toole but he only plays the star. The cornucopia of comedy includes so many well blended styles it amounts to a lexicon of laughter: slapstick, sarcasm, deadpan, bathroom and more. There's even a few bits of heartwarming schmaltz.
The indelible charm of Peter O'Toole can't hope to save this lacklustre comedy as it struggles again and again to balance it's desire for broad variety show humour with character-drama pathos. A prototype 30 Rock with none of the wisdom or genuine heart which also features (presumably, inadvertently) what must be some of the most sickening audible moments of dumpling eating in cinema history.
Essentially Your Show of Shows backstage, so an 80s Dick Van Dyke Show. O'Toole is great, as always, but this film suffers from an overall shmaltzy feel that hampers its best moments. I think in the hands of a better director, and some minor casting changes, this couldve been an all time great, as the script is near flawless. Sadly, what it is is just a fun film to pass the time with. 3 stars