Two or three days ago Sasha Stone sent me a Gene Maddaus Variety story about ongoing litigation about the failure of Warren Beatty‘s Rules Don’t Apply. Beatty and Regency Enterprises (Yariv Milchan and his billionaire dad Arnon Milchan) have sued and counter-sued each other** about who bungled the marketing of Beatty’s Howard Hughes film, which opened and quickly died in late November of 2016. It ended up with a lousy $3.9 million domestic.

My reply to Sasha: “Who gives a shit? Outside of journalists and industry types nobody much cared when Rules opened and flopped two years ago. It was an odd duck of a film — partly farcical, partly constipated and partly a repressed love story between Alden Ehrenreich and Lily Collins, whom no one cared about. The strongest elements all came from Beatty’s darkly eccentric performance as Hughes. The problem was that Hughes was in his early to mid 50s in the realm of the story (1958 to ’64) and Beatty was 76 and 77 when he performed the role in 2014. The bottom line is that Beatty looked too damn old, plus he hadn’t been in a film for 15 years. He was certainly too long of tooth to have sex with the 20something, champagne-buzzed Collins in that one scene. Some of Rules Don’t Apply worked, but too much of it didn’t.”

Here’s my review (“Notes to Myself about Rules Don’t Apply“), posted on 11.12.16.

** From Wikipage: “In December 2017, it was announced that Arnon Milchan and Regency Enterprises, one of the film’s financiers, was suing Beatty for $18 million. The company cited breach of contract, claiming Beatty had not repaid the promotion cost losses the company took on following the underperformance at the box office. In March 2018, an investment group including Brett Ratner, Ron Burkle and Steve Bing counter-sued Regency for $50 million, claiming it was their under-promotion of the film that had led to its ‘disastrous box office results and the loss of cross-complainants’ entire investment.'”