Mother superior

In One Fine Day, MICHELLE PFEIFFER brings her talents as a real life mum to the screen for the first time. She also gets to romance George Clooney.

Words: Alan Morrison

For Hollywood’s leading ladies. life is more likely to end than begin at 40. The fickle film world snaps up and just as quickly casts aside good-looking talent. and often a poster idol will find herself slipping down the cast credits and into TV movies as wrinkles bring reality into the world’s biggest dream factory.

Not so for Michelle Pfeiffer. who hit the four decade landmark on 29 April this year. Still very much on the studios’ A-list and regularly voted one of the world’s most beautiful women. she’s also buoyed up in box office terms following the massive success (on home territory at least) of last year’s high school drama Dangerous Minds. Now it would appear that she’s found another winning if lightweight formula in One Fine Day. mixing romantic comedy with new heart-throb on the block. IiR‘s George Clooney.

‘You have to like each other and trust each other.’ Pfeiffer. who also acts as the film‘s executive producer. says of on-screen chemistry. ‘That was no problem for us at all. In fact. George went out with my younger sister Dedee years ago. They stayed friends and she is still crazy about him. We joke now that she road-tested him for me. George isn‘t mean or selfish. He is a very generous man and a really funny man. When you are in his company as a woman. he makes you feel good. I wouldn‘t rule out us working together again soon.

In One Fine Day. Pfeiffer plays Melanie Parker. 21 career-minded divorced mum who bumps into fellow single parent and hard-driving journalist Jack Taylor (Clooney minus the Bat Mask) on a particularly chaotic work day. A cellular phone mix-up is only the beginning of their troubles but. sure enough. their cute offspring are a key factor in bringing these harassed parents together.

The film gave Pfeiffer the first chance to play a screen mtnn since trying out the maternal role in real life. The actress‘s first experience of motherhood came in 1993. when she adopted a baby girl on her own. four years after divorcing actor Peter Horton. best known as Gary in r/iirtysonwtlzing. Later the

Michelle Pfeiffer

'I couldn’t give my children up

for six months for the greatest screen role in the world. Being a parent happened at the right time for me. I wanted it badly.’

Mum's the word: Michelle Pfeiffer in One Fine Day

same year. she married producer David Kelley (creator of Chicago Hope) and their son John Henry was born in August 1994. Now domestic responsibilities. not Hollywood fads. are likely to affect her career.

‘I couldn’t give my children tip for six months for the greatest screen role in the world.’ Pfeiffer admits. ‘I want to be there for them. Being a parent happened at the right time for me. I was ready. I wanted it badly. I have re-defined my own limits. and I like that. I‘m happily married and my husband is there for me and our children. When he's tied up. I get help there is no choice. But most women aren’t in that situation.’

However. the worlds of parenting and acting do occasionally collide.

‘l did a chat show on American television recently. and I was wearing this superb Armani suit in pink satin.‘ the Californian native remembers. ‘I thought I looked great. Nobody told me I had a lump of oatmeal in my hair from breakfast. The kids just throw the stuff at you. Maybe the make—up girl thought I always go around with lumps of cereal in my hair.‘

One Fine Day opens on Fri 4 Jul and is reviewed on page 24.

preview FILM Rough Cuts

The column that climbs the popcorn mountain.

IT'S THE ONLY PLACE in Scotland where you can enter between Marilyn Monroe's legs. A huge neon display of the actress takes pride of place above the doors of the new Showcase Cinema at the Phoenix Leisure Park in Paisley, just off the A761. The fourteen-screen multiplex. which opened for business on Friday 13 June, is National Amusements' second Scottish site, following the Showcase East at Coatbridge.

Like its sister cinema, this Showcase boasts digital stereo and rocking recliner seats in every auditorium, and a lobby that’s more than generous with its space allocation. Two galleries of Hollywood Golden Age posters adorn the walls, while trailers for future releases play continuously on a large video wall.

Best of all, the programme for the cinema's first week indicated that it won’t just concentrate on the biggest of the blockbusters, but will bring more diverse fare into the multiplex arena, such as the warm and wonderful Big Night. The Showcase At The Phoenix takes up over twelve acres of the old Talbot car factory site at Linwood so, as the name suggests, it heads a cultural resurrection for the area.

EWAN McGREGOR is already polishing his lightsabre for his role as the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel. But a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly revealed his true amibitons. ’Actually, I really want to play Princess Leia,’ admitted the 26-year- old Scot. 'Stick some big pastries on my head.’

KENNETH BRANAGH and, if gossip- mongers can be believed, current squeeze Helena Bonham Carter have signed up for their first film together since Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Bonham Carter will play a woman left mute in a wheelchair by Motor Neurone Disease in The Theory Of Flight: Branagh is the reclusive man who becomes her carer and, inevitably, falls in love.

Kernel knowledge: the Showcase's popcorn counter

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27Jun-10 Jul 1997 THE LIST 21