Directed by Irwin Winkler
Adapted by Leslie Dixon
Costume Design by Alexandra Byrne
Art Direction by John Myhre and Nancy Haigh
Additional Songs by Scott Frankel and Michael Korie
Bernadette Peters- Mame Dennis
Ed Sanders- Young Patrick Dennis/Peter
Melissa McCarthy- Agnes Gooch
Megan Mullally- Vera Charles
Richard Gere- Beau Burnside
Angela Lansbury- Mother Burnside
James Marsden -Older Patrick
Amy Adams- Gloria Upson
Sutton Foster- Peegan
Tagline: "Live, Live, LIVE!"
Synopsis: Mame Dennis was the biggest socialite in one of the biggest cities in the world, New York City. It was known around the town that if there would be a party, that Mame would make a grand entrance at some point during the evening. As the roaring 20’s came to an end, Mame’s party life and her nephew Patrick’s humdrum life were coming to a close as well, even if they didn’t know it. After Patrick’s parents tragically die, he is sent to live with his Auntie Mame, whom he has never met. However, Mame was not informed that Master Dennis would be coming to live with her.
Patrick arrives with his nanny, Agnes Gooch, right in the middle of his Aunt’s big New Years Party. While she is taken by surprise that this stranger/family member is going to be living with her, she welcomes the orphan with open arms and promises that she will be the best mother possible to the adorable 6 year old. Seeking motherly advice from her best friend and “stage star” Vera Charles, proves to be useful because by doing exactly the opposite of what Vera says, Mame becomes the best mother ever. She teaches Patrick to live life in the moment and thoroughly teaches him how to be a socialite. But, when the Great Depression hits and Mame runs out of money, she is forced to take jobs to support herself, Patrick, and Agnes.
Her first job is appearing in Vera’s new Broadway smash, The Man in the Moon. Her role: The Woman in the Moon. This role turns out to be a disaster seeing as one, the show is ripped apart by critics and two, Mame falls off the moon during the climax of the production. Her next place of employment was at a manicure salon where she meets her future husband, Beau Burnside. After getting fired from her job because she accidentally stabs Beau, Mame goes on to date him for a year and while he wants to be married, they must first travel to his home in the Deep South to seek approval from the much feared, Mother Burnside.
After Mame wins over the entire south, she and Beau are wed and in order to get the best schooling, Patrick is sent to boarding school. While Patrick is at school, Mame and Beau embark on what became the longest honeymoon of all-time. The honeymoon ends on a catastrophic note when Beau falls off an Alp in Austria. Returning home, Mame now has all of Beau’s money and is able to return to the socialite life that she once lived. After all this, Patrick graduates and Mame comes to discover that he is falling in love for an exasperating loquacious young girl named Gloria. Puzzled as to why Patrick would think that this behavior is attractive, Mame decides that she must find a way to break up their relationship and set him up with a suitable mate. This plan turns out to be successful and she sets Patrick up with her interior designer, Peegan. They fall madly in love and Patrick returns to his old self. The soon have a child that they name Peter, and Peter just adores Grandma Mame. With her lasting money, Mame takes little Peter on a tour of the world and teaches him to live life in the moment.
A Bit of Motherly Advice- Mame and Vera
Failing on Broadway- Mame, Patrick, Agnes and Vera
I Know It’s You- Mame and Beau (Also Reprise)
Mother’s Lament- Mother Burnside
Loving You- Patrick and Peegan
What the Press would say:
Based on the musical of the same name, Mame is the wonderful tale of socialite Mame Dennis, played by the unstoppable Bernadette Peters, who learns to be maternal when she must care for her endearing nephew. If any of the recent successes of the musical genre weren’t enough to say that the field has been revived, then this ought to convince you. It is directed beautifully by Irwin Winkler who directed the film De-Lovely, and he has done a majestic job of directing this film. Mame is by far the best film of the year for so many other reasons as well. Putting Bernadette Peters in the role took guts and whoever green lit the decision deserves an Oscar as much as she does. You would never be able to tell that she is a practical newcomer to the medium of film, and she pulls of the role perfectly. The performance is full of energy, tenderness, and is one of the rare performances that will be remembered for a long time. Speaking of superior performances, let us not forget the extraordinary Megan Mullally who has out done herself with her scene stealing role as Vera Charles. Megan was born to be playing this kind of role and is a perfect combination of her previous credits on film and television. The young genius Ed Sanders plays Patrick (Mame’s nephew) and gives the best juvenile performance of the century and is perfect in his part. Richard Gere is delightful as always as the love interest, Beau. He is as witty as ever and gives a very solid performance. Angela Lansbury who played Mame in the original production of the show on Broadway makes an appearance as Richard Gere’s mother and is absolutely hilarious in her limited role. Even though her part is small, a fantastic new song (Mother’s Lament) was written for her, and the screen shines that much brighter when she appears.
On the note of songs, Michael Korie and Scott Frankel did a fantastic job of adding to the brilliance of the original score written by Jerry Herman. All of the songs flow perfectly with the rest and they are absolutely side-splitting, like so many of the original songs. Last and not least, the screenplay is as sharp as any this year. Leslie Dixon wrote a hilarious screenplay that surpasses that of his work on Hairspray. Dixon did a fantastic job of adapting it and somehow made it even funnier than it was 30 years ago. The technical aspects are far better than any other of the year, and everything seems to work together which is rare these days. Mame is a must-see film and don’t be surprised when that’s the only name that’s read off at nomination ceremonies in the coming months.
Best Director- Irwin Winkler
Best Actress- Bernadette Peters
Best Supporting Actor- Richard Gere
Best Supporting Actor- Ed Sanders
Best Supporting Actress- Megan Mullally
Best Supporting Actress- Angela Lansbury
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Costume Design
Best Art Direction
Best Sound Mixing
Best Original Song- Any of them