Dir: Susan Seidelman (Desperately Seeking Susan, Sex & the City)
Wri: Fay Weldon (novel), Barry Strugatz & Mark R. Burns (screenplay)
Starring: Meryl Streep, Roseanne Barr, Ed Begley Jr., Linda Hunt
Synopsis: "A surprisingly resourceful housewife vows revenge on her husband when he begins an affair with a wealthy romance novelist."
OH MY GOD WHERE TO BEGIN. WHAT A BANGER.
First off, if it's of interest to anyone, Susan Seidelman directed not only the Classic Banger "Desperately Seeking Susan," but also a few episodes of SATC. I looked them up, and guess what the fuck?? She directed the PILOT!!! Fun fact: I LOVE PILOTS. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. I could literally just watch pilots all day. In fact, I have even toyed with the idea of doing a Madness Bracket of JUST THE BEST PILOTS OF ALL TIME. But that'll have to be for next year, we have FAR too much Meryl ahead of us.
By just looking at the photos, I couldn't help thinking that this looked like a total re-hash of "Death Becomes Her" (or rather, the other way around, since DBH came out in 1992). And while they do share my ardent love of all things ~~CAMPY~~, "She-Devil" is in a class ALL OF HER OWN. OH MY GOD I LOVED THIS MOVIE. That being said, it was actually very painful to watch Roseanne in it because we obviously live in a post-Roseanne-coming-out-as-a-Trump-supporter era, and you are *kind of* supposed to sympathize with her character. But honestly, Meryl steals the ENTIRE goddamn show, and she did SUCH A GOOD JOB being the slutty, vain, and falsely aloof villain that I wished I could see her be soooo badddddd more often (then I remembered "Into the Woods" and I had to go KILL MYSELF).
Real quick recap:
- Roseanne is a frumpy housewife with a giant hairy mole, married to the perfectly square accountant, Ed Bagley Jr., who is obviously desperate to bang anybody remotely "hot" (i.e. blonde, tits, secretary)
- She gets all dressed up to go to his Big Fancy Work Party, of course once she's there she looks ridiculous.
- Roseanne totally fangirls over Meryl Streep at the party, who is a famous bodice-ripper trashy romance novelist, and accidentally spills her drink on her
- Ed Bagley is ~~so embarrassed~~ and ~~insists~~ that Meryl let him drive her home and pay for her dry cleaning.
- He literally makes Roseanne sit in the backseat of the car, then drops her off at home to go drive Meryl home?? I mean, it's rough, you do feel pretty bad for Roseanne.
- Ed Bagley has a TORRID LOVE AFFAIR with Meryl, queen of ~~romance~~
- Roseanne knows wtf is up, so she decide to try and win Ed Bagley back #sad
- She shaves her mustache, buys a nice outfit (?), cleans the house, and cooks an outrageously "romantic" meal for Ed and his visiting parents
- OH NO SHE FUCKS UP DINNER
- ACCIDENTALLY COOKS HER SON'S HAMSTER??!?!?
- Ed Bagley LOSES IT, yells ALL THE MEAN things to Roseanne, and yes, calls her A SHE-DEVIL
- He then moves into Meryl's giant pink mansion, even though it pisses off her very gay (??) manservant/butler/gigolo?
- In Ed's Giant Mean Monologue, he lists the 4 ASSETS THAT ALL MEN HAVE:
- Roseanne decides to RUIN THEM ALL
- She starts with HOME, in a hilarious montage where she puts hair spray in the microwave, a hair dryer under a pillow, a lit cigarette in the trash can, a knife in the blender, a full toolbox in the washing machine, and about 38 cords plugged into one outlet. Then she grabs the dog and walks out, leaving behind THE MOST HILARIOUSLY BAD GREEN SCREEN EXPLOSION EVER. Seriously, it's so fucking terrible it's amazing and I love it.
- Next on the list: dropping off the kids at Meryl's Mansion. Oh no! Poor Meryl! I don't know what to do with kids, I'm just a sexy romance novelist!!
- Seriously, the scene where the kids wander into the giant swimming pool that Meryl is fucking their father in a giant bed of bubbles is ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE MERYL MOMENTS EVER. LITERALLY. SO. GOOD.
- Roseanne then really kicks things into gear, and starts pulling the list on MERYL TOO! Obviously the kids have ruined Meryl's home, but then Roseanne tracks down Meryl's aging mother at a fancy old folk's home and LITERALLY GETS A JOB THERE HAHA
- They have a VERY STRICT no bed-wetting policy (weird flex, but ok) so GUESS WHAT HAPPENS
- Roseanne makes it look like Meryl's mom pissed the bed and breaks her out of there, low key with the help of the ADORABLE Linda Hunt, who joins her on her quest of revenge/liberation
- Now Meryl is stuck with kids AND a mother?? She's basically Roseanne!!
- Naturally, the day Meryl's mom gets dropped off is the day of her BIG INTERVIEW, which her mom TOTALLY RUINS by telling the interviewer all of Meryl's DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS
- Like that she has a secret kid??? Lol she had a kid when she was like 16 because she was such an "insatiable hussy" lmaoooo
- Now basically Meryl's career is ruined, between the interview and the fact that her newest (very late) manuscript is just about a woman stuck with two children she hates and how she has to do laundry all the time. #poormeryl
- Seriously the scene of her trying to do laundry for the first time and breaking a nail LITERALLY DESERVES AN ACADEMY AWARD
- Roseanne is in this for the LONG CON YO
- With Linda Hunt's help, they start an employment agency helping other vulnerable women
- One of them is Lori Tan Chinn, who plays Chang on "Orange is the New Black"!!
- Roseanne helps lots of women get jobs, including a particularly ~~slutty~~ young floozy named Honey
- She gets Honey a job at Ed Bagley's accounting firm, knowing Ed will want to bang the shit out of her
- He totally does
- POOR MERYL HAHAHAHA aww but really this movie is so great
- Now that Meryl has lost her home, her job, and her boyfriend, it's time for Roseanne to go after Asset #4: FREEDOM
- Honey informs her that apparently Ed has been doing some PRETTY ILLEGAL shit regarding a secret bank account in the Cayman Islands (Seriously, are the Cayman Islands even real? Why don't they just stop allowing banks over there? It seems like all the bad guys in movies are always transferring suspicious funds over there).
- Roseanne TOTALLY GETS ED ARRESTED AT A BIG PARTY FOR MERYL HAHAHA
- NOW ED BAGLEY IS IN JAIL
- LIKE FOR A LONG TIME
- Roseanne comes to visit him, SMUG AF, and Ed maybe sort of tries to flirt with her?
- NAH, SUCKS TO BE YOU ED BAGLEY, ROSEANNE HAS BIGGER SHIT TO FRY
- What a hilarious and delightful and silly movie. 13/10 stars. So damn good.
Dir: Mike Nichols (Postcards from the Edge, The Graduate, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf)
Wri: Nora Ephron (novel & screenplay)
Starring: Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Jeff Daniels
Synopsis: "A food writer pregnant with her second baby finds out her husband is having an affair."
Okay, this is the second time now that I've been RADICALLY disappointed by Nora Ephron, and I'm seriously beginning to think she may have just been a three-hit wonder (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail). It would be easy to say that it's just "dated," but the problems go deeper than that. It felt like neither Nora, Mike, or Meryl could figure out if this was a dark comedy about how men are dogs and will always cheat on you, or if it was a sentimental drama about how men are dogs and will always cheat on you. The pacing was just off. I know by now that Meryl can REALLY do comedy well, but all the funniest glibs and jibes went to Jack, and Meryl was stuck in the role of - and I really HATE to use this word - *shrill* housewife. What a colossal bummer.
Real quick recap:
- Meryl and Jack meet at a wedding. She's a self-assured food critic, he's a notorious playboy. Can I make it anymore obvious. #sk8erboi
- They flirt, they bang, she makes him carbonara, they get married.
- She has some serious cold feet right before the wedding, and takes forever to walk down the aisle. She should've stayed in the bedroom. Sigh.
- Jack's friends Stockard Channing (Rizzo from "Grease!") and Richard Masur (the mom's shitty leech boyfriend from season 3 of "Transparent") convince Meryl that Jack has treated ALL of his girlfriends like garbage, but mErYl iS dIfFeReNt #facepalm
- Of course SHE is the one who has to move her life in NYC to his job in Washington. They buy a shitty apartment and it's a WHOLE AGGRESSIVE METAPHOR about "fixing up shit."
- Honeymoon phase, singing in the crappy apartment, eating pizza and being in love. IT WON'T LAST, MERYL.
- She gets pregnant, they have their first kid - played by Meryl's real life first daughter, Mamie Gummer! Adorable.
- They go on vacation with Rizzo and Richard
- Meryl *suddenly* notices Jack's tell-tale signs of cheating
- She confronts him and he pretty much confesses immediately
- Meryl and their 2 year old move back to NYC
- Oh yeah, and she's like 5 months pregnant with baby #2
- She has some nice, flirtatious moments with her longtime friend Jeff Daniels
- I low key wanted this to turn into a movie about Jeff declaring his lifelong love for her and Meryl leaving Jack for him, but no such luck. I mean, that would've been a lame movie, but only moderately less lame than the one I just had to watch.
- Meryl crashes at her dad's apartment, she goes to group therapy, and one day randomly gets totally mugged by Kevin Spacey on the train?? Like he sees her on the train, then follows her to her group therapy, breaks into the apartment, and robs ALL of them at gun point??
- There is an *almost* funny moment where he tells them to take off all their jewelry and Meryl can't take off her wedding ring because she's pregnant and her fingers are swollen and it takes like 4 people to squeeze it off, then Kevin tells them all to get down on the floor and lie on their stomachs until he leaves, and Meryl's like:
Meryl: Please don't shoot me, but I'm pregnant, I can't lie on my stomach
Kevin: Oh... Um, that's fine, just do your best
Meryl: Okay, thank you
Kevin: And, uh, sorry about your ring, lady
Meryl: Oh, no, it's fine, don't worry about it, I didn't want it anymore anyway
Once again, this could've been a hilarious scene, but the music was so dramatic, and Kevin and Meryl were SO serious about it, I honestly couldn't tell if I was supposed to be laughing or not.
- Jack comes to NYC and convinces Meryl to come back home to Washington
- She does, and has their second baby
- Meryl and Rizzo bond over how their husbands are both still cheating on them, "boys will be boys, what are you gonna do?" Like what??? Is this just how women lived in the 80s???? Like they know divorce exists, right??? Bullshit, honestly.
- Catherine O'Hara, their social circle's gossip, tells Meryl that Thelma (the bitch who Jack was cheating on her with) is now having an affair with Richard (Rizzo's husband), so Meryl starts a (hilarious) nasty rumor that she has Mega Herpes from a Vietnamese restaurant's toilet seat??
- Maybe it's because I just finished "Out of Africa," but this movie had some pretty blatant racism in it (besides the Vietnamese restaurant bit). Like the ONLY characters of color in the whole thing are Juanita, Meryl's hispanic nanny in Washington, and Della, her black nanny in NYC. Not cool, dude.
- Anyway Jack gets mad (???) that Meryl starts this rumor
- Meryl finds out Jack has bought fucking Thelma a fancy ass necklace
- Catherine has Rizzo, Richard, Meryl, and Jack over for dinner, Meryl throws a key lime pie in Jack's face, calmly asks for the car keys, and then finally fucking leaves him
- Meryl gets back on a plane to NYC
- THAT'S IT
- LITERALLY THE END OF THE MOVIE
- OKAY SURE I GUESS???
It's already obvious who the winner is, but I have to say there were these tiny little moments in "Heartburn" where I could see what a good actress Meryl is. She's terribly good at incorporating these heartbreaking, natural little nuances... like opening her mouth to start a sentence, then changing her mind, or the way she can furtively glance between her scene partner and the floor and convey so much emotion without ever indicating in an obvious way. She always looks like a REAL person, and I think that's what makes us all feel for her so strongly in every single one of her roles. No matter how *shrill* she might be.
But of course, without a doubt, the winner of Bracket #9 is...