Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Revenge is sweet... and low.
Flipping through the television channels I came across Roseanne looking uglier and angrier than usual and it made me stop and take notice of the film She-Devil.
In this film Roseanne plays Ruth Patchett, a heavy housewife with a mustache who is unappreciated to the point of abuse from neglect by her accountant husband Bob. Bob eventually leaves Ruth and their two children for one of his wealthy clients, a snobby romance novelist named Mary Fisher played by Meryl Streep. Ruth then takes matters into her own hands for the first time in her life and plots revenge against Bob. To do this she makes a list of his assets to destroy. This list includes his house, his family, his career, and his freedom.
This film goes to the extreme for a laugh and for shock value. For example, to destroy his house Ruth has an “accidental” fire with an overloaded electrical socket, a washer filled with plugged electrical appliances, a working hairdryer on a bed covered in pillows, an unlit pilot light on the stove, and a couple aerosol cans in a running microwave. This was only the first step in destroying Bob’s life and the house was just where he kept some of his belongings while the divorce was being worked out.
I enjoyed the movie for Meryl Streep and Roseanne’s performances and its outrageous plot. Meryl did an excellent job portraying Mary Fisher, which surprised me because she never struck me as much of a comic. Roseanne delivered her natural subdued performance which made her character’s methodical execution of her revenge all the more amusing as she actually crossed the items off her list of Bob’s assets as she destroyed them and the lengths to which Ruth went to exact her revenge were entertaining in their own right as were the results that ensued proving that hell really does hath not fury like a woman scorned.
For more on She-Devil: