I thought that the film was quite interesting. It's not really about Howard Hughes, but rather the character played by Alden Ehrenreich. All of the primary characters in the film are well-developed. The story is also quite interesting, delivering as both a romantic comedy and a Hollywood dramedy. The balance works, creating an efficient, enjoyable film. It does begin to feel a bit rushed at the end, and a few of the events may require a bit of further research into the businesses of Hughes, as they only mention names and the effects of an event, not necessarily its causes, however, this information was not essential to understanding or enjoying the film. It did begin to feel a bit rushed and slightly hectic in the end, but in hindsight, I actually really like that decision. It makes a lot of sense to the context of the film. It works. My only other real issue with the film was its editing. In a handful of spots, the film cut a bit too quickly from one event to another unrelated event, giving it a slightly jumpy feeling, but I think that it almost completely smoothed out by about 30 minutes into the film. The ending of the film was also pretty cheesy, but it somewhat works because of the era that the film is paying homage to.
The acting in the film was extremely strong. Alden Ehrenreich and Lily Collins both offered very strong leading performances, with great chemistry and believable emotions between the two. Warren Beatty is obviously great as Howard Hughes, delivering both the moments of eloquence and madness very well. I think that Beatty has some potential in the awards race for Best Supporting Actor. Matthew Broderick also delivers a solid supporting performance, mostly as comedic relief. There are also a bunch of other great actors in the film, but they have much smaller parts, like Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Oliver Platt, and Steve Coogan. The cinematography of the film is often very good, with the aspect ratio and shots transporting you back into that era of film.
So overall, I thought that "Rules Don't Apply" was a very good film. People going in looking for a Howard Hughes biopic may be disappointed, but it is a very good romantic comedy set against the backdrop of Howard Hughes Hollywood. I recommend it if you are a strong fan of the film industry.
Rules Don't Apply
Big Tuna's Rating: A-
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.