She-Devil

  • 1989
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Comedy

In this screen adaptation of Fay Weldon's novel, The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, Susan Seidelman has transformed a black comic masterpiece into a watered-down, dim-witted vehicle for TV sitcom star Roseanne Barr. Phenomenally successful hack-romance novelist Mary Fisher (Meryl Streep) sets her sights on accountant Bob Patchett (Ed Begley, Jr.), who is...read more

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In this screen adaptation of Fay Weldon's novel, The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, Susan Seidelman has transformed a black comic masterpiece into a watered-down, dim-witted vehicle for TV sitcom star Roseanne Barr. Phenomenally successful hack-romance novelist Mary Fisher (Meryl Streep)

sets her sights on accountant Bob Patchett (Ed Begley, Jr.), who is easy game. Patchett becomes Fisher's business manager and lover, eventually leaving his fat, clumsy wife, Ruth (Barr), and moving in with the writer. When he leaves Ruth, Patchett accuses her of being a she-devil, a bad cook, a

bad wife, and a bad mother. (From what we're shown, he's not altogether wrong.) Ruth itemizes Patchett's assets--"Home, Family, Career, Freedom"--and through the rest of the film, she conducts a series of outrageous attacks on them. In spite of a big budget and an ingenious story, director

Seidelman (SMITHEREENS; DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN) has succeeded in making a sow's ear out of a silk purse. Weldon's novel is witty, wacky, and wonderfully way out; the film is none of those things. The problem lies with Barr in the pivotal role of Ruth. Once the part was hers, the whole script

had to be rewritten around her monotonous delivery and limited acting ability, much to the detriment of the plot. SHE-DEVIL delivers few laughs, and most of these come from Streep, who demonstrates a heretofore little-seen flair for comedy.

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  • Released: 1989
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: In this screen adaptation of Fay Weldon's novel, The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, Susan Seidelman has transformed a black comic masterpiece into a watered-down, dim-witted vehicle for TV sitcom star Roseanne Barr. Phenomenally successful hack-romance nov… (more)

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