The Fabulous Baker Boys.

The Fabulous Baker Boys is a 1989 romantic drama film.


Singing castEdit

Non-singing castEdit


The Fabulous Baker Boys, Jack and Frank, are brothers living in Seattle, making a living playing in lounges and music bars, their gimmick being that they play intricate jazz and pop-flavored duets on matching grand pianos. Frank handles the business aspect while Jack, single, attractive, and more talented as a player, feels disillusioned and bored with the often hackneyed material they play. He is, nonetheless, able to live a comfortable and responsibility-free existence because of Frank's management, sleeping where and with whom he pleases. Frank has a wife and family he adores, but Jack has no personal connections in his private life, other than Eddie, his soulful but aging Black Labrador, and Nina, the lonely child of a single mom living in his building, who walks Eddie and takes piano lessons from Jack. In all other respects, professionally and personally, Jack's life is a series of empty one-night stands. Now and again, he plays the challenging music he really cares about at a local jazz club.

Concerned over the way they keep losing gigs, the Baker Boys hold auditions for a female singer to join the outfit, ending up with the beautiful but eccentric Susie Diamond, a former escort with unusual charisma, a sultry singing voice, and emotional baggage she keeps well hidden most of the time. She's late for the audition, cockily irreverent of their professional reputation, and ticks Frank off by saying she's got an intuition he'll hire her anyway—but overcomes his reservations with her impassioned performance of "More Than You Know", with Jack accompanying her, clearly more impressed with Susie's singing (and Susie herself) than he wants to admit. After a rocky start, the new act becomes unexpectedly successful, leading to bigger gigs and better money, but Frank is worried that Jack will ruin it by sleeping with Susie, having noted the growing attraction between the two, and being all too well aware of his brother's effect on the opposite sex.

Jack and Susie circle each other warily from gig to gig, neither wanting to make the first move. In the meantime, the normally cool and emotionally distant Jack has a stark revelation of how fragile his world really is when Eddie has to spend the night at an animal hospital. He needs to have several teeth removed, a procedure that could easily kill the elderly dog, who is, Jack suddenly realizes, his only real friend in the world.

The now sought-after trio (and Eddie, still recovering from surgery) head out of town to play an extended engagement at a grand old-style hotel. Frank has to leave suddenly, when one of his kids has a minor accident. Without him to act as chaperone, Susie and Jack give in to their feelings after playing a sizzling duet of "Makin' Whoopee" at the hotel's New Year's Eve celebration. Before they have sex, Susie opens up to Jack about her past at the escort service, having sex with clients simply because they were nice to her. She tries to tell him how good a player he is, but he's unwilling to admit his regrets to her. The romance is uneasy and off-kilter from the start, and it doesn't last long.

Back in Seattle, there is increasing tension within the act, as Frank senses what has happened between Jack and Susie, and both of them begin to rebel against Frank's creative control, which has them performing crowd-pleasers like "Feelings" every night, instead of the jazz standards they prefer. After she spends the night with Jack at his apartment (leading to an embarrassing encounter with Nina), Susie reveals that she got a lucrative offer from a catfood conventioneer at the hotel to sing jingles for TV, which would mean leaving The Baker Boys. She later takes the job when Jack, wounded she'd even consider going (and thinking about the conventioneers she used to know as an escort), refuses to admit how he feels about her, and acts as if her departure is no big deal. As a parting shot, she tells him he's selling himself on the cheap as much as she ever did as an escort, by working a cheesy lounge act instead of developing his talent as a serious jazz musician.

Jack and Frank quarrel over Susie's departure and the increasingly embarrassing gigs Frank has been landing them, and they get into a fight, with Jack nearly breaking Frank's fingers in frustrated rage, then storming off saying he can't pretend anymore. Jack later blows up at Nina, driving her away—but goes after her to apologize—and learns that she's getting a new stepdad, so he won't be such a big part of her life anymore.

Now ready to pursue the solo career his loyalty to Frank and delayed maturity had kept on the back burner, Jack goes to Frank's house to mend fences. The brothers finally let each other know how much they care about each other, now that they don't have to work together. Frank accepts Jack's decision to go his own way, and says he'll switch to giving piano lessons at home—in his mind, he was simply helping his brother lead the carefree swinging single life that he secretly envied, and had thought Jack wanted. They reminisce happily about the early days of their act, and play a riotous chorus of "You're Sixteen", knowing now that their connection is unbreakable, no matter what happens.

Jack goes to see Susie, who is not enjoying the jingle business much, to let her know he's sorry about the way he behaved, and to subtly but unmistakably communicate that he wants to try again with her. She isn't ready to give him another chance yet, but they part as friends, and Jack tells her he's got an intuition they'll see each other again, echoing her earlier prediction that the brothers would hire her for the act. She walks off to her job, with him watching until she's nearly out of sight.

Musical numbersEdit

  • "Jingle Bells" - Nina
  • "The Candy Man" - Monica
  • "Up, Up and Away" - Bad Singer 1
  • "My Way" - Bad Singer 2
  • "I Go to Rio" - Bad Singer 3
  • "Tiny Bubbles" - Bad Singer 4
  • "I'm So Excited" - Bad Singers 5, 6, 7 and 8
  • "Feelings" - Susie and Bad Singer 9
  • "More Than You Know" - Susie
  • "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" - Susie
  • "Ten Cents a Dance" - Susie, Jack and Frank
  • "The Look of Love" - Susie
  • "Makin' Whoopee" - Susie
  • "The Pea Song" - Susie
  • "You're Sixteen (You're Beautiful and You're Mine)" - Jack and Frank
  • "My Funny Valentine" - Susie

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