Old Hollywood, recreated by Production Designer Jeannine Oppewall (Last Days in the Desert), is elegantly shot by Caleb Deschanel (The Passion of the Christ), and Collins and Ehrenreich are both appealing, doing their best with the material given to them by Beatty.
But what's the point of this story? Is it a romance? Is it a send-up of traditional values? Is it a Howard Hughes biopic? The film never gives us a reason to care about anything in it. Likeable young performers are given thinly sketched characters, while Beatty doesn't shed any light on the enigma of Hughes (in contrast to, say, The Aviator). Younger people will wonder how the director—or anyone else—could be fascinated by someone like Hughes, while those more familiar with the mysterious billionaire won't find anything here to add to their understanding of the man.