‘ FILM LIST
., 375+ "
She Devil (15) (Susan Seidelman, US, 1989) Roseanne Barr, Meryl Streep, Ed Begley Jr. 99 mins. There seems to be a school oi critical thought developing, particularly in Britain, that Susan Seldelman’s American movie version oi Fay Weldon’s novel (and acclaimed Beeb serial) ‘The Liie And Loves Di A She Devil' is something oi a travesty oi its source. Well, I’m going to come out right now and admit that I haven't read the book or seen the telly series, which could perhaps explain why I enjoyed the lllm so much.
US TV comedy star Roseanne Barr makes her big-screen debut as Ruth Pratchett, the dumpy, much taken ior granted spouse oi Ed Begley Jr’s slimy lawyer Bob Pratchett. At a suave society party where she feels out at place, he manages to spill some wine over beautiiul, successiul, completely aitected romantic novelist Mary Fisher (Meryl Streep in her llrst comic role), and betorelong the two are locked in a passionate attair that leaves Ruth posltlvely seething. In her position, she does what any reasonable person might do— blows up his house and begins to plot a revenge that will show up the happy couple iorthe hypocrites they are.
Seidelman and herwrlters have ditched the central idea in the novel that the abandoned wile obsessively undergoes surgery to turn herseli lnto her rival, and indeed the somewhat apparently dark, macabre teel ol the original has been boldly substituted tor
a rather diilerent take on the same outline. We are not talking kitchen sink drama or cinema verité here, instead ‘She Devil’ belongs to the school of outré American screen comedy that aspires to the outrageous exaggeration ol the cartoon. Yes, we’re talking Frank Tashlin, we’re talking (yeah!) Jerry Lewis. Some people get upset when a serious English book gets this sort oi treatment, hence the curmudgeonly reviews the iilm has been getting elsewhere.
Thus the performances, particularly Streep’s unrelentineg campy Mary Fisher (sort oi Miss Piggy meets a younger Barbara Cartland), are deliberately drawn largerthan lite, and the humour verges on the slapstick at times. All oi which is quite OTT, but actually serves to hide a satirical edge that scythes down all those things in tile that conspire to make the plainer woman’s lite less pleasant than it ought to be. Like annoying teenage kids, like the drudgery oi housework or boring jobs, like romantic ilctlon that only makes you miserable, like an endlessly philanderlng husband, and so on. She Devil might not be quite what many have expected, but the movie leaves you in no doubt as to who you're rooting tor. And the world needs another housewlie superstar. (Trevor Johnston)
From Fri 25. Glasgow: Ddeon. Edinburgh: Ddeon. Strathclyde: UCI Clydebank, UCI East Kilbrlde.
members one by one. With a tough heroine parading around in white underwear and both the production designer and special effects man pilfered from Scott’s original (which in itself ripped off Fifties monster movies) this is a familiar ride, but an enjoyable one at that. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge. Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr, Odeon Hamilton, La Scala. UCI Clydebank. UCI East Kilbride.
I Look Who's Talking (12) (Amy Heekerling, US. 1989) John Travolta. Kirstie Alley. Olympia Dukakis. 97 mins. In Travolta's much-hyped comeback he plays stand-in papa to Alley‘s first baby. but is quicker to meet approval from the little brat. via the voiced-over musings of one Bruce Willis. than he is from its confused and binkered mama. Crass. lowbrow and thus extremely popular comedy whose sole redeeming feature is the natural charm of the trusty Travolta. But any movie whose idea of a comic
setpiece means filmimg a foetus inside the womb with the dreary Willis intoning on the soundtrack just doesn‘t come nearthe ball park. Glasgow: Cannon Clarkston Road. Cannon The Forge. Odeon. Edinburgh: Dominion, Odeon. Central: Cannon. Strathelyde: Cannon. Odeon Ayr. Odeon Hamilton, La Scala. UCI Clydebank. UCI East Kilbride. WMR Film Centre.
I Macbeth (PG) (Orson Welles. US. 1948)Orson Welles. Jeanette Nolan. Dan O'Herlihy. 107 mins. Shot on the cheapin 23 days for the B-picture studio Republic Pictures. it’s hardly any surprise that this comes over as one of Welles‘ least successful enterprises. Largely spoken in an unintelligible. bastard form ofmangled Shakespearean Scots. one can sense however the attempt to create a shadowy, wholly cinematic space for the drama to operate in. It‘s just a pity that we never lose track of the smell ofcardboard hanging over the entire enterprise.
The past, present, and future.
The thoughts and images of one man...for all men.
One man‘s dreams. . .for every dreamer.
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A KL'R()S:\\\}\ Production AKIRA Kl'R()S:\\V.-\'S [)RICAMS Produced by H ISAO KL'ROSAWA and MIKE Y. [NOL’IC Written and Directed by AKIRA Kl'ROSMVA
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OPENS FRIDAY MAY 25th EDINBURGH CAMEO
The List 18— 31 May 1990 35