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Take two rival TV reporters: one handsome, one talented, both male. Add one producer, female. Mix well and watch the sparks fly.

Release Year: 1987

Rating: 7.1/10 (12,845 voted)

Critic's Score: 84/100

James L. Brooks

Stars: William Hurt, Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter

Basket-case network news producer Jane Craig falls for new reporter Tom Grunnick, a pretty boy who represents the trend towards entertainment news she despises. Aaron Altman, a talented but plain correspondent, carries an unrequited torch for Jane. Sparks fly between the three as the network prepares for big changes, and both the news and Jane must decide between style and substance.


William Hurt

Tom Grunick

Albert Brooks

Aaron Altman

Holly Hunter

Jane Craig

Robert Prosky

Ernie Merriman

Lois Chiles

Jennifer Mack

Joan Cusack

Blair Litton

(as Joan Cusak)

Peter Hackes

Paul Moore

Christian Clemenson


Jack Nicholson

Bill Rorich

Robert Katims

Martin Klein

Ed Wheeler

George Wein

Stephen Mendillo

Gerald Grunick

Kimber Shoop

Young Tom

Dwayne Markee

Young Aaron

Gennie James

Young Jane

It's the story of their lives.

Release Date: 16 December 1987

Filming Locations: 600 East Capitol Street SE, Capitol Hill, Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $20,000,000


Opening Weekend: $197,542
(20 December 1987)
(7 Screens)

Gross: $51,249,404

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Albert Brooks revealed that when he first read the script, the scene where Aaron does a weekend broadcast simply noted "Something bad happens to Aaron on the air." Albert was watching CNN when a reporter he'd never seen before (and hasn't seen since) began sweating badly. Albert phoned writer/director James L. Brooks at three in the morning and stated that Aaron HAD to start sweating profusely.


Tom's jacket collar in the airport scene when Jane and Tom argue.


Jane Craig:
Bastard! Sneak! Quitter!

Aaron Altman:

User Review

A forgotten classic which should be re-evaluated

Rating: 9/10

For me this wonderful rollercoaster of a film bears repeated pleasurable
viewings. Its about the tangled lives of three very different people.
Hunter is the obsessive workaholic producer. Albert Brookes plays the
unprepossessing but brilliant journalist. William Hurt is the affable but
dumb new kid on the block, news anchor.

The classical love triangle emerges with the stunningly witty and self
deprecating Brookes in love with Hunter but she of course is attracted to

This film works on many levels. At the very least it is a brilliant comedy
with the one liners flying so thick and fast that each viewing bears a new
harvest of ones that you may have missed last time. Its also a film about
attraction and unfulfilled romance.

But perhaps most importantly the film examines the modern obsession with
physical appearance and its ultimate triumph over intellect as a valued
human attribute. This is personified by the meteoric career success of the
Hurt character in contrast to Brookes relative decline.

Despite being fifteen years old the film has some startingly relevant
messages about modern news values and the continuing decline in

This film is a classic in every sense and it is difficult to understand
it has been so neglected