New York: The Late 1920's
John Cusack plays David Shayne, a starving artist who has written a couple of failed plays. Fortunately he has a producer who believes in his latest play. However, the only investor he can find has a condition:
His girlfriend Olive wants to be a star and she has to have a part in the play and like all gangster's molls, she has no talent and a horrible voice. David wants to back out rather then have Olive play a psychiatrist but when Nick the mobster tells you that you'll put on the play or he'll nail your kneecaps to the dance floor, you have Olive play the psychiatrist and lump it.
So David starts having rehearsals and a whole host of problems emerge. The leading man is a compulsive overeater, the ingenue has a dog named Mr. Woofles, Olive can't act, the play sucks and it turns out that Nick's hit-man/Olive's bodyguard is a better writer then David is.
Bullets Over Broadway has some fabulous costumes, great sets, a jazzy soundtrack (lots of Bix Beiderbecke), a few glimpses of period undergarments and some mild violence. Plus it's wonderfully hilarious.
The best part of the movie is Dianne Wiest, who won an Oscar for playing Helen Sinclair, the Diva of Broadway and the lead in David's play. Think Norma Desmond, only employed and guzzling bathtub gin. She has a terrific wardrobe and a catch phrase!