Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Blake Edwards|
|Music by||Henry Mancini|
|Cinematography||Anthony B. Richmond|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$4 million|
The film was made independently by Edwards using largely his own finances and was distributed by Columbia Pictures. Although Columbia released the film, Artisan Entertainment (now Lionsgate) holds the rights to distribute it on DVD.
That's Life! was shot in Edwards and his wife Andrews' own beachside home in Malibu and features their family in small roles, including Edwards' daughter Jennifer Edwards, Andrews' daughter Emma Walton Hamilton and Lemmon's son Chris Lemmon portraying Andrews and Lemmon's adult offspring, while the senior Lemmon's wife Felicia Farr portrays a fortune teller.
Because of the film's independent status, many of the cast and crew were paid below union-level wages, resulting in the American Society of Cinematographers picketing the film during production and taking an advertisement in Variety in protest. As a result, the original director of photography, Harry Stradling Jr., was forced to quit the film and was subsequently replaced by Anthony B. Richmond, a British cinematographer.
Harvey Fairchild is a wealthy, Malibu-based architect who is turning 60 and suffering from a form of male menopause. He feels aches and pains, real or imaginary, and seems unhappy with his professional and personal life.
Harvey's patient wife, famous singer Gillian Fairchild, tries to cheer him with family get-togethers and an elaborately planned birthday party this weekend. But she secretly has worries of her own, a lesion on her throat, possibly cancerous, the biopsy results which she won't get until after the weekend.
Whining his way through day after day, Harvey snaps at his pregnant daughter Megan and makes rude remarks to his actor son Josh. The miserable Harvey is furious with a client named Janice Kern who can't stop revising her plans for a magnificent house Harvey has been building, but he, wanting to get over his depression, succumbs to her sexual advances, although they don't go through with it solely because he can't get it up. Although a lapsed Catholic, he tries going to confession, only to discover that the priest to whom he is confessing is "Phony" Tony Baragone, his Notre Dame roommate and an old rival. He also consults a local fortune teller, Madame Carrie, sex with whom leaves Harvey with a severe case of what ends up being pubic lice aka crabs.
Gillian bravely hides her cancer fear from the family, but finally, overcome with emotion, she confides in her friend and neighbor, Holly.
Harvey threatens to spoil the birthday party for everybody. He is in such a foul mood that just because a friend named Belmont tells him a depressing story about an illness, he amuses himself by introducing Belmont to the crab-infected fortune teller, who, by coincidence, Gillian has hired to entertain at the party.
Gillian warns her husband that he is going to lose everything if he continues to behave this way. During his party, Gillian's doctor arrives to inform her that the biopsy test results are negative and she is going to be all right. She takes Harvey aside to let him know just how precious life really can be.