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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Death Becomes Her (1992)

An aging actress (Meryl Streep) steals the fiance (Bruce Willis) of her best friend (Goldie Hawn). 14 years later, after an enormous weight gain and a nervous breakdown, Hawn plots her revenge but it doesn't quite work out the way she planned. Director Robert Zemeckis is probably more celebrated (or derided) for FORREST GUMP and BACK TO THE FUTURE, but this wickedly funny black comedy arguably remains his best film. Curiously, when initially released, the film was coolly received by the critics but has since become a cult film of sorts. Hilariously, Siskel and Ebert dismissed it because it "lacked depth". And BACK TO THE FUTURE didn't? This satire on this country's obsession with youth culture (even more timely today!) features first rate comedic performances by Hawn, Willis and especially Streep whose hilarious performance in a musical version of Tennessee Williams' SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH must be seen to be believed. The film can't quite keep up the momentum and starts fading during the last 15 minutes or so. The film's original ending was rather sweet and poignant but axed for a more laugh friendly conclusion. It was a mistake I think. With Sydney Pollack and Isabella Rossellini in an amusing performance as an eternally youthful sorceress.

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