I have seen Big Business, a movie starring Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin, several times over the years when I've caught it on television. I just watched the movie again.
Mr. and Mrs. Shelton are traveling in West Virginia when Mrs. Shelton goes into labor. They end up at the hospital in the small town of Jupiter Hollow. A local woman, Mrs. Ratliff, is also in labor at the same time. Both women give birth to twin girls and the nurse mixes up the babies, giving one wrong baby to each couple. Both couples end up naming their daughters Rose and Sadie.
About 40 years later, each set of twins are living very different lives that are about to collide. Rose and Sadie Shelton now run the family company Moramax, with Sadie being very career driven and Rose being more timid and wishing for a calmer country life. Sadie has plans for Hollowmade, a company in Jupiter Hollow that makes wood furniture. In Jupiter Hollow Rose Ratliff is passionate about trying to make sure the company is safe while Sadie dreams of living in the big city. Rose learns about the plans for Hollowmade and she and Sadie head off to New York City to try to deal with the situation. All four women end up staying at the same hotel, leading to all sorts of confusion.
The plot for Big Business is fairly simple, though some complications do turn up as the movie progresses. Babies being switched at birth isn't the most original idea, but things are changed up enough with everything else in this movie for it to be at least a little original. Things get slightly confusing once all four women are staying in the same hotel, but I didn't have trouble keeping track of which twin was which for the most part. Most of what happens is predictable which might disappoint some viewers. Even with the predictability, the movie is still entertaining.
A lot of what happens in Big Business is funny. The humor is more on the silly side for the most part, but that works for the movie. Most of the jokes are tied to the Sheltons and Ratliffs being mistaken for each other. The woman don't understand what is going on, so that also helps to add to the humor. Some people may not care for the humor. A few things do go a bit overboard and aren't as funny, but I think the humor works well overall. The humor definitely helps to make the movie more entertaining. There really aren't any serious moments to this one. The movie is rated PG and there really isn't anything offensive that happens. Only one or two swear words are used.
Before leaving Jupiter Hollow, Rose Ratliff has been seeing Roone Dominick, a man who plays miniature golf. He is really upset when he finds out that Rose when to New York. He has marriage in mind, so he decides to follow her to New York to propose. Once there, things get confusing when he meets Rose Shelton. She had been seeing Dr. Jay Marshall, but their relationship is basically over. Neither Sadie has a relationship when the movie begins, but Sadie Ratliff ends up becoming attracted to the other Sadie's ex-husband. Sadie Shelton starts a romance with Fabio Alberici, a man planning to do business with Moramax. The relationships going on are slightly complicated for much of the movie because of mistaken identities. It is hinted that at least one couple gets intimate without anything actually being shown. There isn't a lot of romance to what is going on. The relationships mostly just add some complications to what is going on.
Both sets of twins end up with the same names after one of the fathers over hears that the other couple are naming their girls Rose and Sadie. The actual twins end up with the same names, which does add to the confusion when both of them are staying in the same hotel. Each set of twins shares a few traits while also having some differences. Sadie Shelton is very career driven and she isn't exactly that nice to anyone, even her sister. She only seems to care about making more money no matter who gets hurt. Sadie Ratliff is a bit nicer, but she does share the other Sadie's love of the big city. Bette Midler does well with the parts.
Rose Shelton is much kinder than her sister and more timid. She does work at Moramax, but she doesn't really fit in there that well. She dreams of having a more simple life and living in the country. Rose Ratliff likes living in Jupiter Hollow and that is a big reason why she is so determined to make sure that Hollowmade stays in operation. Without the factory, the town will really suffer. This Rose is more outspoken and determined to get things done. She is also suspicious of just about everything. Lily Tomlin handles the parts really well. The parents of both sets of twins are only shown at the very beginning of the movie when it is shown how the babies get mixed up.
Graham works for Moramax and is ordered around by Sadie constantly. He pops up in several scenes briefly without doing too much. Edward Herrman is fine in the part. Roone has certain ideas things that don't exactly match up with what Rose wants. He turns up more once he gets to New York. Fred Ward is fine in the part. Jay isn't in as much of the movie, so Michael Gross doesn't have as much to do. Fabio is an Italian business man who is set to do a deal with Moramax. He also seems to be interested in Sadie Shelton. Fabio really isn't developed much. Other characters, like members of the hotel staff, are frequently around in some of the scenes.
I've seen Big Business turn up on different channels over the years. Depending on which channel it is on, a few words may be edited. I watched it online this last time.
Big Business is a bit silly, but it works as a fun, entertaining movie. It is still worth watching, especially for fans of the cast.