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Perfect trio in bizarre and wonderful dark comedy,
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This review is from: Death Becomes Her [DVD]  (DVD)Falling actress Madeline Ashton (Streep) learns of a secret potion that will regenerate her beauty whilst her long term enemy Helen (Hawn) looks set to steal her husband
Black comedies are some weird and wonderful creations. The Coen brothers are creative masters at such a genre, whether depicting the nature of the government in Burn after Reading or revealing the solidity of harsh actions in Intolerable Cruelty the pair have become a landmark and favourites.
To take the concept of death and vanity and putting a comedy twist on it sounds almost as controversial as Dogma and as zany for Zemeckis as you like, given his previous hit was the final part in the Back to the Future trilogy. But despite the initially oddity of this picture, it is perfect comedy gold with a strange darkness and bizarreness to rival Tim Burton.
The film begins with a song and dance routine with Meryl Streep in as good as singing voice as in her later role Mamma Mia! After a couple of confusing scenes we see Helen has gone into depression after her husband got hitched with Madeline and it seems we have a soapy style love triangle but after Madeline gets her hand on a love potion and we see Helen return to the mix, everything becomes much more light hearted and very funny, with sharp physical comedy and maintaining that level of bizarre activity throughout.
Goldie Hawn is the stand out with a wacky crazed character that is simply likeable despite her vindictiveness. Streep is, as ever, on fine form and pleasantly Willis has dived away from his stereotyped action hero into a soft hearted struggler who wants his life back. The pairing of the three works wonders and is hard to imagine any other in such roles as the playful comic acting is in perfect harmony with the wacky script.
The film revolves around the concept of vanity with the female protagonists looking to get their lives back with simply changing their appearances. Echoes of Sunset Boulevard's excellent Gloria Swanson will be heard and there is almost a perfect intertextuality in the way Streep handles her character's selfishness.
Winner of Best visual effects at the Oscars this 1992 comedy fantasy brings the comedy as well as the fantasy with some bizarre visuals including weapons through the stomach and a neck twisting scene that will make your neck turn the other way.
Death Becomes Her is a must watch, simply because it is so out of sync with reality and maintains a strong level of comedy and fantasy that will make your head spin.