Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Death Becomes Her (2002): A Review

Wednesday, June 30, 2004
A film by Robert Zemeckis

I think that it is fair to say that this is a strange movie. Helen (Goldie Hawn) is engaged to be married to Dr Ernest Menville (Bruce Willis), a famous plastic surgeon. They watch a rather awful show at the theatre and go backstage to meet the star, Madeline Ashton (Meryl Streep). Madeline and Helen knew each other in high school, and Helen believes that Madeline intentionally steals every boyfriend Helen has. This is the final test before the wedding. Naturally, Madeline, who is vain about her appearance and worried about aging, does steel Ernest away and ends up marrying him herself. This drives Helen crazy, literally. We flash forward seven years to get an update on the characters, then another seven years to bring us to the main section of our story. Madeline is aging and she hates it. She meets up with Helen again, and Helen looks fantastic, as if she hasn’t aged a day in the past 14 years. Helen is all glammed up and looks like a star. Madeline is starting to look frumpy. It is all starting to come full circle and Madeline’s jealousy is driving her to do something rash.

Rather than do something predictable (in the movies, anyway) like start killing people, Madeline goes to a strange woman named Lisle (Isabella Rossellini) and gets a potion that halts the aging process and returns the body to its youthful, more perfect image. It also bestows immortality. Now Madeline can compete with Helen again! This rivalry and this fight will continue on through life and even into death.

“Death Becomes Her” is a comedy. It is a very strange comedy, and has something of a dark humor, but it is without question an original movie. It is one of the more overlooked movies in Robert Zemeckis’s filmography. He is better known for “Back to the Future”, “Forrest Gump” and “Cast Away”. This isn’t a perfect movie, but it is entertaining, creative, and interesting. One important thing that I can say is that I did not find this movie predictable at all. I had no idea where Zemeckis was going with “Death Becomes Her” until the end.


◄Design by Pocket Distributed by Deluxe Templates