Ok so I’m sipping a glass of gin and tonic, contemplating why it is I might love DEATH BECOMES HER so much. Sure the film was crap in many, many ways but the reasons to enjoy it are plenty – with MERYL STREEP as the narcissistic actress Madeline Ashton, and GOLDiE HAWN her ex-best friend Helen Sharp being the main. The rest of the cast is excellent as well with BRUCE WiLLiS as wimpy plastic surgeon Ernest and ISABELLA ROSSELLiNi as an exotic New Age mystic.
I always have appreciated even the crappiest films that pair great actresses together, especially when they can potentially be so sharp and non-serious (unlike THE HOURS or NOTES ON A SCANDAL). DEATH BECOMES HER is quite the grotesque comedy, and recall when I was younger that’s exactly what initially appealed to me. Getting to see MERYL bashed over the head with a shovel, and GOLDiE’s infamous hole in the stomach (“Just look at me Ernest – I’m soaking wet!”) – I mean how many comedies have paired such funny ladies together in such a fashion? The list is short. There is a long line of funny comedies that pair our favorite ladies together (BiG BUSiNESS anyone? ROMY & MiCHELLE’S HiGH SCHOOL REUNiON, OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE) but there was something special about DEATH.. and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we as an audience were allowed to take enjoyment in having that arch-nemesis battle between friends take place. And in the end – both Madeline and Helen were essentially two peas in one messed up and tampered-with pod anyways.
Go watch it and see what I mean if you already haven’t!