Plot: When a woman learns of an immortality treatment, she sees it as a way to outdo her long-time rival.
It had been a tough week. Work was pretty full-on and I was already slipping behind on my Streep schedule. As much as I am sure I would enjoy it, I didn’t really want to spend December 31st watching half a dozen Meryl films to reach my target.
Death Becomes Her felt like the perfect choice to follow The Hours, I needed a cinematic experience which didn’t involve someone drowning themselves in a river. This was actually the first time I had seen this film in its entirety but I was aware of the levels of ridiculousness I was about to subject myself to.
Ernest… my ass! I can see MY ASS!
– Madeline Ashton
It’s hard to imagine there is a camper film in a filmography that includes a musical based on the songs of ABBA, but Death Becomes Her takes it to another level. The premise is Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn having the ultimate diva-off while on the quest for eternal youth. Liza could have riden through the set on the back of a rainbow unicorn and I don’t think it would have made it much more camp than it already is.
The film opens with an eye-wateringly tasteless stage performance from Meryl, setting the tone for the film perfectly. How I have not witnessed one of the contestants of RuPaul’s Drag Race recreate this scene yet, I will never know.
This is a film that is firmly from her ‘I’m not a regular actress, I’m a cool actress’ *winks at camera* period, where she left behind the more serious roles for frothier (and let’s face it, often not very good) films. That’s not to say Death Becomes Her is a bad film, it’s a silly film that’s a lot of fun. It’s hard to make a film which is this knowingly bad without it becoming unenjoyable. Shelve this one right between your well-worn copies of Mommie Dearest and 20th Anniversary Edition of Showgirls.