Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Having a wonderful time, wish I were here

That's the tagline for the movie we watched yesterday (courtesy: Netflix): Mike Nichols' Postcards from the Edge. Based on Carrie Fisher's semi-autobiographical book of the same name, the film is a humorous feelgood (even clichéd) look at Suzanne Vale (Meryl Streep), an actress with a drug problem who has to now live with her mother following rehab in order to still be considered for acting roles. Her mother (Shirley Maclaine) has a problem with alcohol and it is very evident that the two do not get along well. The film chooses to delve more on the relationship between daughter and mother and tends to gloss over or gauchely gloss over Suzanne's drug problem and the aftermath. There are great cameos by Richard Dreyfuss and Gene Hackman (and a blink and you'll miss her turn by Annette Benning) and a wasted turn by Dennis Quaid. There are a lot of funny lines and moments in the film and a great caricature of an aging star by Shirley Maclaine. My favourite moment was Suzanne's first post-rehab day of work on a cheapo without rehearsals requiring her to be tied to a fake cactus against an equally fake backdrop of the desert (SPOILER: wait for the moment when part of that opens out as a door!) with real snakes. The followup when everyone on the set offers helpful advice to her about her being too restrained in that scene:). The film unfortunately lacks heart and ends up being an ephemeral collection of moments of varying quality and intensity and is soon over, with Meryl Streep perfoming with the Blue Rodeo as the credits roll up.


The movie that Suzanne is shooting for as she sings "I'm Checkin' Out" at the end of the film is "Postcards from the Edge"

When Dr. Frankenthal (nice name there!) played by Richard Dreyfuss asks Suzanne Vale out to a movie, she replies, "Sure, as long as it's not 'Valley of the Dolls.' Well, Valley of the Dolls (1967) was one of Dreyfuss' first movies.

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