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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Soapdish (1991)

An aging soap opera diva (Sally Field) must contend with the backstabbing by her show's producer (Robert Downey Jr.) and her conniving co-stars (Cathy Moriarty, Teri Hatcher) and to make matters worse, her lover has left her to go back to his wife. Just when she thinks things couldn't get any worse ..... they do! An over the top spoof of daytime soap operas, this colorful comedy is quite amusing. It's like a MAD magazine parody and the script by Robert Harling (STEEL MAGNOLIAS) and Andrew Bergman (BLAZING SADDLES) takes no prisoners in its outrageous attempt to skewer soap operas, their crazy plot lines and their dedicated fans. The acting is pitched at a near hysterical level which is perfect for the characters, notably Field's self absorbed neurotic diva. Ueli Steiger's lush color cinematography and Nolan Miller's eye popping costumes evoke those 1950s' wide screen comedies like DESIGNING WOMAN. However, times change and what was funny in 1991 sometimes doesn't work anymore. When a transgender character is the butt of a joke, it just seems cruel. We're more enlightened today. Directed by Michael Hoffman. With Kevin Kline, Whoopi Goldberg, Elisabeth Shue, Carrie Fisher, Garry Marshall, Kathy Najimy and Finola Hughes.

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