The Main Event (1979)

When I think of boxing, the first person to come to mind isn’t usually Barbra Streisand. It’s actually Rocky Balboa. Which probably says a lot about my knowledge of the sport. It’s just a bit too violent for my taste (hence, my longtime love for the WWF/WWE wrestling – sports entertainment they’re calling it these days).


The Main Event was directed by Howard Zieff, who directed Private Benjamin (1980) and My Girl (1991). It was written by Gail Parent & Andrew Smith, who are known for episodes of the Carol Burnett Show (1967), episodes of the Golden Girls (1989), Cadet Kelly (2002), episodes of the Joan River Show (1969), episodes of Saturday Night Live (1982), and episodes of the View (1999). This movie stars Barbra Streisand (Hillary Kramer), Ryan O’Neal (Kid Natural), Paul Sand (David), and Whitman Mayo (Percy). It is the second film to star Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal; What’s Up Doc? (1972) being the first.


Hillary Kramer starts the movie as a wealthy and successful perfume mogul whose accountant flees the country, stealing all her money along the way. She has to sell everything she has when she comes across a contract for a boxer. Though she doesn’t know anything about boxing, and Kid Natural doesn’t box anymore, she convinces/trains him to compete. This movie is a typical romantic comedy in an unusual setting.


I tread Barbra Streisand films lightly because, although they are entertaining, there is something about her that is a thin line between wit/sarcasm and a fly buzzing in your ear annoyance. I liked this one because it was fun watch someone who worked hard for everything, lost everything, and went straight back to working hard for everything she wanted. I wasn’t as impressed with the romantic/sexual chemistry between Streisand and O’Neal but that’s okay.The other leading ladies considered for the roll include Diana Ross and Goldie Hawn. Also, I still don’t know anything about boxing.


I give it a 6/10 while Rotten Tomatoes gives it 4.9/10.

Have you seen this film? Love it/hate it, comment below!


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