Film Box Retrospective: ‘Death Becomes Her’ with Kathleen Ellison

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If you’re looking for a little satire and a little ridiculousness, look no further than this dark comedy of youth, envy, and beauty. This 1992 movie is directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis, Goldie Hawn and Isabella Rossellini.

Helen (Hawn) has always hated Madeline (Streep) the actress, but when Madeline steals and marries her fiancé Ernest (Willis) , who is a plastic surgeon, it’s the last straw. What Helen doesn’t know is that Madeline, fearful of losing her youthful beauty, has gone to see an enchantress (Rossellini) who gives her a potion to make her young and beautiful, but there seems to be some unexpected results.

I have to say I was completely surprised by Bruce Willis. Throughout the movie, I was continuingly checking to make sure that this actor really was Bruce Willis, because he is so meek and wimpy and I just couldn’t believe that this was the same guy from Die Hard. Meryl Streep is hilarious with her snobbery and condescending lines. Her interactions with Hawn’s character are always fast paced and filled with wonderful witty one-liners.

The special effects are really impressive, especially given the age of the movie. It’s no surprise that it won an Academy Award for its visual effects. This combined with hilarious slapstick humor and wonderfully crafted dialogue really provides a great satirical image of how today’s society is obsessed with the image of beauty.

This is a classic comedy and one I strongly suggest. The characters are so uniquely humorous and the plot is so originally interesting. I couldn’t stop laughing the whole time. It’s a perfect dark comedy for those who enjoy poking fun at society. Personally I think it’s worth a watch just to see Bruce Willis playing such a different character from his usual roles.

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Posted in: A&E

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