Welcome! Log in or Register

Death Becomes Her (DVD)

  • image
£3.45 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk See more offers
14 Reviews

Genre: Comedy / Theatrical Release: 1992 / Director: Robert Zemeckis / Actors: Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis ... / DVD released 02 September, 2002 at Universal Pictures UK / Features of the DVD: Dubbed, PAL, Widescreen

  • Sort by:

    * Prices may differ from that shown

  • Write a review >
    How do you rate the product overall? Rate it out of five by clicking on one of the hearts.
    What are the advantages and disadvantages? Use up to 10 bullet points.
    Write your reviews in your own words. 250 to 500 words
    Number of words:
    Write a concise and readable conclusion. The conclusion is also the title of the review.
    Number of words:
    Write your email adress here Write your email adress

    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    14 Reviews
    Sort by:
    • More +
      15.08.2010 16:25
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      8 Comments

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      Madeline and Helen don't like the idea of getting old but how can they stop it

      FILM ONLY REVIEW

      Madeline is an actress who has known Helen for years Helen is due to marry Ernest, a cosmetic surgeon, but Madeline steels him away and married him herself. Helen build up a hatred for Madeline and over the years she gets fat and spends her time in her apartment watching a death scene from one of Madeline's films. She dreams of winning Earnest back and getting revenge on Madeline.

      We move to 7 years later where Madeline is obsessed with getting old and lives for surgery and Ernest is now working in a morgue. Madeline thinks she needs more work as she has been invited to a book signing from Helen and is shocked when she is told she cannot have any work done as it is too soon since her last work. She gets given a card with details of a place where special work can be done to keep her young forever but she dismisses this and shoves the card in her bag. Later when she sees how good and young Helen looks she decide to go and see about this new work. She gets given a potion which makes her young and stops the aging process but when she returns home she discovers that Helen and Ernest are plotting to kill her.

      Madeline learns that she cannot be killed due to the potion and she needs Ernest to help her keep looking fresh but with Helen trying to win him just what will happen, and how come Helen looks so young and good?

      I have seen this film a few times over the years but never really sat and watched it properly, that was until hubby decided he wished to watch it as well. I do enjoy the film and think the storyline is good and for the year it was made it still looks good and holds its own. The acting is excellent and is what really helps make the story so good and entertaining.

      The role of Madeline is played by Meryl Streep and she is fantastic, she plays the aging woman perfectly at the start of the film and shows how hard it is for her being an actress to age so badly. I loved how she changed and got more confidence when she had taken the potion and she worked well with the make up and effects which were used on her. There was a good but strained chemistry between her and the role of Helen, she was played by Goldie Hawn and they really did bounce off each other. Goldie Hawn was another good actress in the film and I love how she changed from being a shy and nave woman at the start of the film to this man eating murderess in the middle of the film. She added a bit of humour to the film and she and Streep seemed to bond very well.

      Bruce Willis took the role of Ernest and for some reason found him to be very weak and did not think he put everything into this role. He seemed to be lacking in conviction with his lines, he was playing a guy being pursued by two strong women but I think he would have come across slightly better if he had a stronger attitude and stood up for himself slightly more. I would have been able to believe in his character if this would have been the case. We did get a few good support character including, Isabella Rossellini, Adam Storke and Nancy Fish and they did give good performances but they were not very central to the storyline.

      The film was made in 1992 and this is apparent from the costumes and hairstyles. I did not let this spoil my enjoyment of the film and do not think is looked very dated. I think the way this film has been made then it would still be able to hold its own in today's market, mainly due to the strong acting from Hawn and Streep. The special effects which were used were all very good and blended effortlessly into the film. I think that for the year of production then they were very good and I found the were not over the top but very suitable and fitting for the film and setting. The music was good but nothing special and I found it did help with the drama and comedy of the storyline.

      The story is not a comedy but some of the lines and the way Hawn and Streep bounced off each other made for some fun viewing, there were no laugh out loud moments but I did have a good few chuckles with the way things happened or the odd one liners.

      As this is a film only review there are no bonus features to speak about. The running time of the film is 104 minutes and I found this to be a good length with the storyline moving at a good pace from start to finish. The film has a PG rate, there are one or two swear words in the film but I think they are no worse than ones which can be heard on the TV any time of the day or night so have to agree with the rate.

      I have to give this film 4 stars despite being nearly 20 years old now as the storyline was good and so too was the acting, the film has dated well and is very enjoyable, I would advise you to all try and catch this next time t comes on the TV.

      Comments

      Login or register to add comments
      • More +
        30.05.2010 11:38
        Very helpful
        (Rating)
        2 Comments

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        A great classic black comedy

        When talking about movies with my other half the mention of favourite childhood films came up and i was shocked to discover that my partner had never seen Death becomes her! Well as soon as I heard this I decided we had to track down a copy and watch is ASAP.

        The story begins by introducing us to Madeline Ashton a successful beautiful actress and her old friend Helen Sharp a dowdy writer. Helen takes her fiancé Dr Ernest Menville to see Madeline backstage at one of her Broadway performances and it's clear that Ernest has a crush on Madeline. Madeline then "steals" Ernest from Helen and they get married. Madeline has done this to Helen before but this time it pushes her over the edge and the film flashes forward seven years and we see Helen has gained a lot of weight and is living in her apartment in isolation with her cats spending her days watching Madeline's films and replaying her death scenes. She is taken to a mental institution and an off the cuff remark from her doctor leads Helen to come to the conclusion the only way she will feel better is to kill Madeline.

        The film then flashes forward another seven years and we see that Madeline and Ernest are still married but are practically leading separate lives. Ernest drinks all day and is no longer a successful surgeon but now works in an undertaker's making the faces of the rich and famous perfect after death.
        Madeline is no longer a successful actress and is obsessed with getting older and losing her looks. She receives an invite to the launch of a new book by Helen and thinks it will be the perfect way to make herself feel better by rubbing her marriage and good looks in Helen's face but Helen is no longer the dowdy overweight woman she was but is now a gorgeous glamorous woman. Feeling upset Madeline goes to visit her young lover but he has someone else there and tells Madeline that she needs to find someone her own age. Feeling devastated she nearly crashes and then see's a card she had been given earlier with only an address on it. She was told that a woman there will be able to help her with her quest for youth and beauty and she decides to go.

        At the address she meets Lisle a beautiful woman who tells Madeline she is 74 and it's thanks to a magic potion. Madeline takes the potion and is told she will now live forever and must take good care of her body. While this is happening Helen has visited Ernest and convinced him that the only way the two of them can be free is to murder Madeline. When Madeline returns home she gets into an argument with Ernest and pushed to the limit she pushes her down the stairs. Thinking she is dead he panics and phones Helen for advice but Madeline isn't dead and he gets a shock when he looks and she is walking with her neck twisted back to front.

        Helen arrives and Madeline shoots her in the stomach for plotting her death but Helen has a secret of her own she took the potion years earlier which is how she looks like she does now. The two woman have now ruined their eternal bodies and the only way for them to look good again is for Ernest to work his magic on them. They make friends with each other and come to the conclusion that they need Ernest to take the potion so he will always be available for touch ups when they are needed. Unfortunately Ernest doesn't want to live forever especially not with Madeline and Helen.

        I loved watching this film again and even though I haven't seen it in years it's held up really well. The special effects are impressive for a movie made nearly 20 years ago and with the exception of a couple of dodgy moments most wouldn't look out of place in a movie made today. The writing is witty and nothing about it comes across as old fashioned like some movies made a few years ago sometimes suffer from. The way the women are made to look younger is really successful and the weird and wonderful way they hurt each other is both funny and a little gruesome.

        The cast is absolutely fantastic, the great Meryl Streep who in mind can do no wrong is playing a completely different character form normal and it's good to see her in a comedy instead of something so serious. She is really funny and more than holds her own against Goldie Hawn. Talking of we all know Goldie is a comedy genius and doesn't disappoint in this film, she is both sexy and funny and both women really shine but I personally think Meryl has the better part and the funniest lines.
        I was probably most surprised by Bruce Willis in the film, he is playing completely against type by playing a rather wimpy character who is bullied by the women in his life instead of the usual action men we are used to seeing him play. He does a good job with the comedy too and it's a shame he doesn't try this type of film more often.

        The extras on the DVD were disappointing with a short behind the scenes feature, original theatrical trailer, production notes and filmographies. I really think the studio missed out on a big opportunity with the extras and there should at least have been a directors commentary included.

        The film is really funny with some great scenes. I especially loved seeing Goldie Hawn in a fat suit surrounded by all her cats and the ending which I won't spoil were highlights for me. I was so pleased that a film I loved from my childhood was as good as I remembered and didn't let me down like some other older films have lately and I enjoyed every minute of it and I definitely recommend anyone who has yet to see it or those people like me who remember it fondly from the early 90's track down a copy to watch and I promise you won't be disappointed.

        Comments

        Login or register to add comments
        • More +
          25.08.2009 22:23
          Very helpful
          (Rating)
          1 Comment

          Advantages

          Disadvantages

          An all round perfect example of black comedy

          I remember watching this film as a kid and really loving it. Of course 1992 was a while ago and before I put this in my player a couple of days ago all I remembered was Meryl Streep getting whacked over the head with a spade! However on watching this as an adult I found much more!

          After meek and frumpy Helen, played by Goldie Hawn, has her plastic surgeon husband Ernest (Bruce Willis) stolen by her best friend Madeline, an already ageing performer played by Meryl Streep, the two women become sworn enemies.
          As the years go on, and they both find themselves fading into rather ungracefully into old age, they enter into the bizarre and beautiful world of an anti-ageing 'specialist', offering the elixir of life; the secret of eternal youth and beauty.
          Of course, things begin to go wrong when both women find the unfortunate consequences when they continue to live beyond one another's violent (and hilarious) attacks on each other, and they realsie that in order to keep existing they must make peace with Ernest the plastic surgeon.

          If you like a good black comedy then this is for you. As much violence as a good Wile E. Coyote cartoon, excpet the characters dont spring back into shape afterwards. This film has been created with incredible visual effects which have paved the way for no end of block buster ever since, and as such I think it has been over looked as a work of technical genius as well as simply a damned good laugh. I dont think we really look to any of the main actors to ordinariy make us laugh but all three surpass themseleves in proving you dont need to stick to one genre.

          I can see why this is a PG because for once a film hasn't been toned down for kids but has rather been made to make them laugh and feel momentarily guilty about it. There are small amounts of adult humour which dont get in the way of a good giggle. This film isnt gruesome in the slightest, just wonderfully tounge in cheek and unless you're really squeamish it's simply a good watch. I still love this film and remember now why I loved it as a child, even if I was a rather demended one!

          Comments

          Login or register to add comments
          • More +
            19.06.2009 13:45
            Very helpful
            (Rating)
            4 Comments

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            If you've never seen the film before, then check it out.

            I must have been around 8 or 9 the first time I saw this film, it was one of the first 'big films' I was allowed to watch and I remember sitting through the first 15 minutes or so falling asleep however then Meryl Streep falls down the stairs and you immediately wake up and the film finally kicks itself into gear.

            I've only just found out that the film actually won an Oscar for it's special and visual effects, I myself completely agree with that Oscar as the special effects in this film are fantastic, especially considering it's now a 17 year old film.

            ======
            The Plot
            ======

            Ernest and Madeline Ashton are in a loveless marriage, however when Ernest's ex Helen comes back in the picture and convinces Ernest to leave Madeline, the only way they can come up with to make sure that he is still got money is to kill her off and make it look like an accident. Unfortunately for them, Madeline is so unhappy with her appearance that she has taken a youth potion, which essentially is an eternal life potion. Helen as well has taken the potion, which means every time an 'accident' happens, the women are still moving around, and still technically alive.

            ======
            The Cast
            ======

            Ernest- Bruce Willis
            Madeline- Meryl Streep
            Helen- Goldie Hawn

            ========
            My Opinion
            ========

            Back when I was younger I adored this film, I thought the visual effects were just amazing however I watched it again recently, and found that in quite a lot of places, the film really does drag on, and this is not really what you want from a film.

            There is no doubting that the best thing about this film is the leads, especially the lead women, Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn in this film are just fantastic, and they both have natural comic timing and just deliver an amazing performance. They both push their characters to their limits and because of this they deliver such an amazing performance, I don't think I've ever really seen Meryl Streep in a role like this before, but this is one of her best films in my opinion.

            Bruce Willis is just as good, he's almost unrecognisable in the film, he plays a bit of a geek, he's not the hero in the film in anyway and he has to deal with these two women that are after him and deal with them and their accidents.

            The special effects in this film are just extraordinary, I think we're used to amazing special effects now, but this film is just a little bit younger than I am, and for that time the special effects are brilliant and they do take your breath away at how they managed to do these things.

            The film is a black comedy, and a comedy it is, with quite a few dark scenes within it, some of the accidents will have you cringing but overall the black comedy. Some of the camera shots in this film are just terrific, probably the best one is when the camera is on Meryl Streep and behind her a supposed to be dead Goldie Hawn rises up behind her, I would have filmed it a bit differently, but the idea there was just fantastic.

            Robert Zemeckis is a fantastic director with films like Forrest Gump, What Lies Beneath and even Castaway beneath his belt, and he directed this film brilliantly. I did get a feeling that the direction was a little bit rusty, I think this might have been one of his first projects and in certain scenes you can see this.

            =========
            Final Opinion
            =========

            If you've never seen death becomes her before then you definitely should, yes the film in places does drag on a bit, but the rest of the film in my opinion makes up for this. It's a classic film in our house hold and we were shocked that we didn't have the DVD only the VHS which we got rid of years ago. You can get it pretty cheap off EBay and it's well worth the money. The three protagonists give off an amazing performance and the special effects are just extraordinary.

            Director: Robert Zemeckis
            Runtime: 104 minutes
            Cert: PG

            (C) Kirsty 2009

            Comments

            Login or register to add comments
            • More +
              03.04.2009 12:59
              Very helpful
              (Rating)
              6 Comments

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Worth a watch

              I originally watched this film when it was released on VHS away back in the early 90's and still to this day I can't decide if I actually like it or not. Quite strange considering I'm usually an either love it or hate it kind of person. It is a comedy but is quite a dark humor in places.


              Plot
              ==========
              Well known plastic surgeon, Ernest (Bruce Willis), is in a drunken, loveless marriage to ageing actress Madeline Ashton (Meryl Streep) who is watching her career go nowhere fast. Goldie Hawn also plays a lead role as Helen Sharp who was once engaged to Ernest before Madeline stole him away.

              After years of therapy Helen goes back to Ernest to convince him to leave her leech of a wife but they both know that in doing so, he would be ruined financially so they devise a cunning plan to kill Madeline off and make it look like a terrible accident.

              Unfortunately for them Madeline had been so unhappy with her appearance that she'd taken drastic measures by taking a youth potion, which essentially means that she is unable to ever die. After Helen also stumbles across this potion she willingly takes it for the chance of eternal youth.

              Ernest soon becomes suspicious when his wife and previous fiancé are still alive after many supposedly fatal "accidents" such as being shot through the stomach with a shotgun. The only way the two women can keep Ernest quiet is to force him to take the potion too. This would also give the added bonus that he'd be able to use his skills as a surgeon to repair their bodies after any mishaps they may have.


              Opinion
              ==========
              Very slow going at times and I really don't think that a comedy such as this one suits Bruce Willis by any stretch of the imagination. With that said, he did put in a very believable performance. Through the whole film the only thing I could think is "Bruce, you can only wish that you had those two beautiful women fighting over you!"

              Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn actually played off of each other very well in all of the scenes that they played together and most of the comical situations and one-liners came from them.

              In the last 20 minutes or so of the film I couldn't help but feel that they had just tried to drag the film out a bit to get the run time up. It's plain to see that none of the crew or cast was really caring about the quality of the film by this point. I'd be interested to know how long it took them to film the entire thing.


              Overall
              ==========

              With two gorgeous women starring in a comedy with quite a dark humour, I did think that I'd have loved the film but I still remain undecidedly on the fence with this one.

              Definitely worth a watch but the film is quite predictable and feels stretched out towards the end. Take nothing away from the writers though, a great storyline. It would be interesting to see how things may be different if they ever decide to release an updated version.

              Comments

              Login or register to add comments
              • More +
                09.12.2008 18:56
                Very helpful
                (Rating)
                3 Comments

                Advantages

                Disadvantages

                Occasionally funny black comedy from Zemeckis

                This 1992 comedy film combined the acting talents of Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis and Goldie Hawn with the quirky and humourous direction of Robert Zemeckis, but sadly for me it did not really come off. There are moments when I laughed, and the majority of the film kept me interested on some level, but for some reason it just wasn't my cup of tea.

                Long time rivals Madeline Ashton (Meryl Streep) and Helen Sharp have tried to better each other in every way possible for as long as they can remember, ever since Madeline 'stole' her husband Ernest (Bruce Willis) from Helen. When Helen finds comes across a miracle cure that promises immortality, she ups the stakes and will do anything to try and get Ernest back, no matter the cost. With immortality an apparent dead cert, what could go wrong?

                This film is a comedy of errors, with the special effects guys having more fun than anyone else, by the looks of it. Naturally, the immortality side of things comes in handy as we see dismemberment and then reattachment, bitchy fighting, and the supposedly innocent Ernest getting caught up in the middle. Lifestyles are lavish and the acting completely over the top, and although the three stars do a decent job with what they are given, the whole thing just seems a bit silly to me, and not in a particularly funny way.

                There are moments when I laughed, which is alwas a good sign, and the film on the whole kept me interested, but it just wasn't the right film for me. The comedy at times escaped me, but I did recognise the style of Zemeckis everywhere about, with the black comedy feel about it from start to finish.

                The DVD is available from amazon.co.uk for £3.98, if you want to buy it. I still rate it at 3 stars, as it did manage to make me laugh and the basic lines of the plot made me want to know what happens. If it's on TV and there's nothing else on, I'll probably leave it on while I crack on with something else, but I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it.

                Comments

                Login or register to add comments
                • More +
                  11.11.2008 15:34
                  Very helpful
                  (Rating)
                  2 Comments

                  Advantages

                  Disadvantages

                  a great film to watch with frieinds.

                  This strangely is a real cult classic in Britain. It is American film, with bruce willis as a drunk caught between two women and their greed for eternal youth. They get him to spray paint them so they don't look dead. Within 3 scenes both women are killed and then comically come back to life to the horror of their murderer.

                  This film kind of puts life into perspective. Bruce willis's character sums up how rubbish life would be to live eternally, seeing all the people you love die and then what if you get bored?

                  This film has two brilliant female actors. Meryle streep and Goldie Hawn. Their complete hatred for eachother turns into some great comedy consequences.

                  For its age this film has some great stunts and effects in it. With clear use of green screens and some great make up artists.

                  I think everyone should see this film. If you want an intersting storyline with lots of funny moments.

                  I would give this film 9/10 its the kind of film you will pick up and watch again.

                  Comments

                  Login or register to add comments
                  • More +
                    13.05.2008 11:02
                    Very helpful
                    (Rating)
                    5 Comments

                    Advantages

                    Disadvantages

                    death comes to us all...but some wont stay dead

                    {This is a review of the film only and not the DVD}.

                    Director and Producer: Robert Zemeckis
                    Writers: Martin Donavan and David Koepp
                    Stars: Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn and Bruce Willis.

                    Released in 1992 this dark comedy is surprisingly funny with some cracking special effects.

                    **THE PLOT**

                    When Madeline Ashton, (played by Meryl Streep) steals the lover, Ernest Menville, (played by Bruce willis) from Helen Sharp, (played by Goldie Hawn), the two women become bitter rivals, even to the point of death.
                    Things become more hateful for when Madeline and Ernest get married, leaving the depressed Helen looking for revenge.

                    The movie spins on many years later, showing the audience how successful and still beautiful Helen has become whilst her rival, Madeline, has sadly aged with Ernest becoming a highly paid mortician and alcoholic.

                    Madeline soon discovers the secret to Helens youthful complexion and decides to follow her rivals way of life.

                    This is where the movie really kicks in, with the two bitter rivals now as young looking as each other and both seeking the love of the very rich Ernest.

                    The two women seem hell bent on trying to kill each other, succeeding several times, to the utter amazement of each other.
                    Poof Ernest is then dragged into the women's deadly game, his mortician skills coming in very handy.


                    **IN CONCLUSION**

                    It is a sort of love triangle/murder/horror/comedy movie for everyone to enjoy

                    With some good fight scenes and the usual chase scene this movie is of great entertaining value and can be watched many times without losing interest.

                    The movie also gives its idea into what may have really happened to many dead celebrities as we see them all together at a party.

                    The comical way that the scary scenes are made makes this a movie which can be viewed by some younger adults, (but maybe not too young as they tend to ask more questions).

                    I really enjoyed watching it the first time and I have seen it several times since, especially when it has been on the television.

                    It is an excellent movie for its time and is well worth adding to your collection.

                    Comments

                    Login or register to add comments
                    • More +
                      11.02.2006 11:29
                      Very helpful
                      (Rating)
                      4 Comments

                      Advantages

                      Disadvantages

                      Giggle , and easy to get into. thumbs up from me.

                      This film is great, tells us that its not always beauty, weath and fame. Meryl Streep (Madeline Ashton), Goldie Hawn (Helen) and Bruce Willis (Ernest), All put on a great roll. Helens Husband (bruce) whos a plastic-surgeon, Madeline steals Helen's husband for her own cosmetic convenience, and the two women become sworn enemies (Helens long term "Best Pal" madeline). The years pass both women are looking worse or wear, they look for a cure. Then the Complication arise when they find a secret antiaging formula, giving to them by a mysterious sexy women. But this formula not only make you sexy, young and beautiful it also guarantees immortality. So as their undying bodies get almost mutilated as they attack eachother (as they both and really hate eachother and want there man) Both women stop and think on how dependent they are on Ernest for cosmetis repair. So they try and trick him to being like them to live forever..... but more twists unfold. Great acting and good special effects will hold your attention i promise you.

                      i did have a fair few giggles watching this film, and its a film i could watch again. (well so long as i have some chocolate to munch on hehe)even my mom liked this one lol.

                      Cast:-

                      Meryl Streep .... Madeline Ashton
                      Bruce Willis .... Dr. Ernest Menville
                      Goldie Hawn .... Helen Sharp
                      Isabella Rossellini .... Lisle Von Rhoman
                      Ian Ogilvy .... Chagall
                      Adam Storke .... Dakota
                      Nancy Fish .... Rose (Madeleine's maid)
                      Alaina Reed Hall .... Psychologist
                      Michelle Johnson .... Anna (Chagall's aide)
                      Mary Ellen Trainor .... Vivian Adams
                      William Frankfather .... Mr. Franklin
                      John Ingle .... Eulogist
                      Clement Franckenstein . Opening man
                      Petrea Burchard .... Opening woman

                      so if you like your funnies i would recommed this film for you.

                      Thanks xXVampXx

                      Comments

                      Login or register to add comments
                      • More +
                        05.04.2004 21:14
                        Very helpful
                        (Rating)
                        4 Comments

                        Advantages

                        Disadvantages

                        I’m sure you’ve all worried about getting older. Even when you’re young you’re worried about looking old and wasted and no one will love you. I can imagine that it’s worse for a movie star. Wouldn’t you say so? Having all the magazines say dreadful things about you; spiteful things. Things about your looks and how you’ve aged. So, imagine how Madeline Ashton (played by Meryl Streep) felt when she hit 50 and was starting to look older by the day. So, what do you do when you get old? Do you grow old gracefully? Surely not! But what other alternative is there? Well, you’d be surprised… ◄ The Plot ◄ Madeline Ashton (Meryl Streep) and Helen Sharp (Goldie Hawn) are best friends. Well, in actual fact their enemies. They hate each other, but they put on a front and act as if they like each other. When Helen falls for a Dr Ernest Menville (an unrecognisable Bruce Willis) she introduces him to Madeline. Every man Helen has dated Madeline has stolen off her. Would Dr Ernest Menville do the same? Well he did, and before you knew it Madeline and Ernest were getting married. Helen couldn’t stand it and went into a bout of depression. She put on 5 stone and went to a mental institution. With the help of her therapist she plotted revenge and fast forward seven years and it’s the party of Helen’s book launch. Having not seen each other for fourteen years neither women know what the other looks like. So, when they finally meet, Madeline is in for a surprise. Helen lost all the weight she gained (and more) and now looks the most glamorous she’s ever looked in her whole life… and Madeline looks the worst. What’s Helen’s secret
                        ? And why has she come back all these years later? Desperate to find a way to look younger, Madeline visits Lisle Von Rhoman (Isabella Rossollini) who claims she has a solution to her problem. That solution being a potion that gives you eternal life. That stops the aging process in its tracks to keep you “forever young”. Death, after taking the potion, is impossible. After taking the potion Madeline is her old self again, and delighted. But, it seems eternal life isn’t going to be so easy… ◄ Characters/ Performances ◄ Death Becomes Her, may well be the campest movie ever made. It oozes extravagance and glamour and without either of these the film is nothing. The three main characters – Madeline, Helen and Ernest – are the most interesting characters together. Madeline is age mad. She must look young. She must feel young. With her toy boys she’s desperate not to look out of place. Helen has never been what you’d call “attractive”. And suddenly she is just that. She’s sexy and beautiful and glamorous and this has brought along bitterness and evil. What Death Becomes Her shows us is that beauty and glamour is what makes people bitter. Is what makes people revengeful. It’s what makes people desperate to remain that way. Ernest is the only one out of the three that isn’t glamorous and sexy. He’s dull. He’s aging. He’s unattractive. Yet he’s the only one out of the three without bitterness in him. Yes he’s got anger but he doesn’t feel cheated by anyone. This is because he doesn’t feel the need to look young. He doesn’t feel the need to be young. He doesn’t feel the need to act young. He is someone who ages gracefull
                        y; unlike Madeline and Helen. All three actors are wonderful in the film. Meryl Streep (2 time Oscar Winner and 15 times nominated) is fantastic. She’s different, which makes it even better. Meryl has that brilliance that lets her make any role her own. You can’t compare her to her brilliance in Silkwood because this role is completely different. That is a good thing though. You manage to think of Madeline more realistically in the film. She isn’t Meryl, she’s Madeline. Meryl’s character in this, though, does sort of resemble the character she plays in She Devil. Just like that role she’s bitter, beautiful and self-centred. Beauty and age also played a big part in that film as well, so maybe that is why I think of the two on the same wavelength. Meryl totally steals the show in this film (like almost all the other film she’s been in). She’s funny, amusing and wonderful to watch. The best out of the three most certainly. Goldie Hawn is equally as good, though. It’s Goldie’s most interesting film in her career. She plays a different part to her other roles. This time she’s not the happy go lucky kind of girl. This time she’s evil. She’s spiteful. She’s interesting. I commented in one of my other reviews that Goldie’s best movie was Housesitter. After watching this once again I’ve realised that by far this is her best film. In this she’s dark, she’s interesting. You’re interested in her characters like all of the others. But, what Goldie’s character has over the others is that she’s more mysterious. The audience know less about her than they do about any other of the characters. She’s more intriguing to the audience she creates much more i
                        ntrigue than the others do, by far. Helen Sharp and Madeline Ashton are the two greatest characters in film history. The best duo by far. What make them even greater are Goldie and Meryl. The on-screen chemistry is interesting and full of excitement between them and they make the film work. Totally. Bruce Willis is, as I’ve already said, unrecognisable in this film. I didn’t even notice it was him who played Ernest until seeing it a couple of years back, funnily enough. With a head of hair, glasses and made to look frump you will be shocked that it is him who plays Dr Ernest Menville. Bruce also brings a lot to the film. He makes it that bit more enjoyable. There’s a reason here for Helen and Madeline’s hatred towards each other. That reason being Ernest himself. We get to see why they fell out (or at least one of the reasons) and the root to their problem. Like his co-stars Bruce totally makes his character his own, and he’s also spectacular to watch and it is certainly one of his greatest films. He shows us that he can do comedy. Because in Death Becomes Her he’s wonderfully funny. ◄ My Thoughts ◄ Death Becomes her was way before it’s time. The genius behind the darkness and campness of it all was Robert Zemeckis (who’s also directed the Back To The Future trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump, What Lies Beneath and Castaway to name but a few). Zemeckis, in my opinion, is the greatest director of all time. In Death Becomes Her he’s a made a cult phenomenon. He’s made it his own. You can clearly tell by watching it that every single scene from start to finish was totally thought out. Everything in the fi
                        lm to him was important. You can tell just by watching that this is something he felt so strongly about. To me, without Zemeckis the film wouldn’t be as great. I doubt it would have the darkness or campness it has today. I think it would still be a good film, but each character and the plot would be let down by poor directing. I do believe that the plot, characters and actors themselves have made the film wonderful, but the true root to it’s brilliance for me, is most certainly Zemeckis. He is the one who’s made Death Becomes Her the brilliance it actually is. Death Becomes Her delves into so many issues. How Hollywood react to getting old. How a woman’s scorn can send them to such great lengths and also how death can be dealt with. It’s something so serious yet what is done so greatly in Death Becomes Her is that you laugh about it. You sometimes feel “should be laughing at this?” not because it’s in bad taste, but simply because you feel it’s something that isn’t funny. But, Death Becomes Her (through the actors and the director) make it funny. That’s why I find it so brilliant, because it isn’t something that should be funny; it just is. I quote the film numerous times in a month, because I love it so much and it’s got the best of quotes ever. It’s pure genius. I don’t think that anyone would not enjoy this film. And I’ve never meant that as much a review as I do in this one. To not see Death Becomes Her is to not visit London at least once in your life! It’s a must. A must that no one will regret. It’s one of my most treasure films in my collection and it’s got everything anyone could wish for in a film. Watch this and laugh your socks off. &#
                        9668; DVD Extras ◄ Behind the scenes Featurette Orignial Theatrical Trailer Prodcution Notes Filmographies ◄ Quotes ◄ If you haven’t yet seen the film you may not want to read these quotes, just in case they give something away about the ending of the film. But, if you’re lucky enough to have seen the film sit back and enjoy these wonderful quotes. Classic! ■■ Helen has a gaping hole in her abdomen Madeline: You're a walking lie Helen, and I can see right through you. ■■ Helen: Mad! Madeline: Hel! ■■ Madeline Ashton is begging to have plastic surgery Madeline Ashton: Are you listening to me? Do you even care? You stand there with your 22-year-old skin and your tits like rocks and laugh, and... sobs ■■ Helen Sharp: You're a powerful sexual being, Ernest. Ernest Menville: I am? Helen Sharp: Yes, you are. If I never told you before, it was because I wasn't the sort of girl who could say the word "sexual" without blushing. Well I can now. Sexual... sensual... sexy... sex... sex... sex... ■■ Madeline Ashton: Bottoms up! Madeline drinks the potion Lisle Von Rhoman: But first, a warning! Madeline Ashton: NOW a warning? ■■ Ernest Menville: Where did you put my wife? Second Doctor: She's dead, sir. They took her to the morgue. Ernest Menville: The morgue? She'll be FURIOUS! ■■ Ernest is heavy breath
                        ing Madeleine: Could you just not breathe? ■■ Helen: Oh, gosh, I'm glad you came. I didn't know if you would. I spoke to my PR woman and she said Madeleine Ashton goes to the opening of an envelope. Oh, those people can be so cruel! Madeleine: Mmmm. Helen: I fired her. pleased Helen: Well, I almost fired her. ■■ Helen: Madeleine! I need to speak to Madeleine at once! Ernest: She's not here. Helen: Oh, thank god. ■■ Helen: She was a home breaker. She was a man-eater. And she was a *bad* actress. ■■ Ernest: She's dead! Madeleine: She is? These are the moments that make life worth living. And of course the best line of all, and the inspiration for the title of this review: ■■ Helen and Madeleine shatter into pieces after falling down stairs Helen: Do you remember where you parked the car? © Matt Roberts 2004

                        Comments

                        Login or register to add comments
                        • More +
                          30.07.2002 05:20
                          Very helpful
                          (Rating)
                          3 Comments

                          Advantages

                          Disadvantages

                          You can guarantee what everybody thinks, "How can you have a comedy about dying? It's sick!" But they're wrong. You can have a comedy about death, and what's more, a stunning one at that. The wonderful thing about this film, is that it puts a gothic horror story into a gothic world, only occaisonally reminding us that it is infact set in the 20th century. It's the kind of film that you could just watch, forgetting the comedy and being completely sucked into the story. I wouldn't have cared if this film didn't provoke so much as a single giggle; the fact is that the story was so entertaining who needed humour! Meryl Streep is a hoot as stuck-up, age denying "actress", Madeleine Ashton. Throughout the first quarter of the movie, we see the character frantically going to any lengths to regain her long lost youthful looks, and pitting herself against friend-enemy, Helen Sharp. Helen Sharp (Goldie Hawn) is bitter over losing her once-lover, Ernest Menville (Bruce Willis) and many before him, to Madeleine, and vows to get her vengeance. When Madeliene meets Helen, after a fourteen year "long time no see", and finds her looking young and beatiful, she frantically tries to better her own appearance, and as a result falls into the hands of Liculle, a millionaire, living in a castle. This woman sells her a potion which gives her eternal youth and immortality. Only one snag, Madeleine has to look after herself. As this happens, Helen and Ernest have a get together, and decide to remove Madeleine from the equation, in order to be together. It's all going quite well, until Madeleine is pushed down the stairs by an angry Ernest. Surprises come when, Madeleine survives the fall, despite a broken neck, and no pulse! Thinking it to be a miracle, Ernest suddenly regains all interest in Madeleine. Helen arrives on the scene, and when Madeleine discovers of their plot t
                          o kill her, she takes it into her own hands to blow a gaping hole in Helens stomach with a rifle. Surprises come again when Helen survives this, despite a hole right through her body. And then, the thread is found, it's not a double miracle, it's a case of two people who have taken Liculle's "eternal youth" potion. Problem is, both parties have now suffered traumas which would usually have killed them, and now, thanks to the potion, they are decomposing alive. With a plot like that, you'd think that there would be no time for humour! But there is, as it manages to naturally creep in. Most of it comes from Madeleine Ashton, or the hilarious special effects (Titanic eat your heart out). But as the film doesn't make a point of being funny very often, it doesn't live up to its "black comedy" status. But what the hell?

                          Comments

                          Login or register to add comments
                          • More +
                            02.05.2001 19:48
                            Very helpful
                            (Rating)

                            Advantages

                            Disadvantages

                            As with all Robert Zemerckis films, this is an enjoyable watch, packed with impressive special effects and performances. It is no where near his best, however, and his attempts at making a 'black' comedy fail a tiny bit. The story starts with a glamorous actress Meryl Streep, stealing her best friend's platic-surgeon fiance, played by Bruce Willis. Her friend is shattered and ends up turning into a fat and lazy slob (Goldie Hawn). Some years later, Streep and Willis' marriage has hit the rocks, she being more interested in her rapidly deteriorating looks, while he has started to paint dead bodies for funerals, losing his successful plastic surgery job. It is then that Hawn re-appears, looking slim, young and very glamorous. How has she done it? Streep finds out as she encounters Isabella Rossalini's (forgive the spelling) magic potion that not only stops the ageing process, but makes you young and beautiful once more. Streep and Hawn now go head to head to win back Willis.... It is at this point that Zemerckis piles on the impressive effects. Examples include Streep falling down stairs and breaking her neck. Willis thinks she's dead, but she stands up and twists her head round again, much to his astonishment. Goldie Hawn is also shoot through the chest with by a shot-gun and walks around with a huge hole in her. These effects and the dark, sort of campy Gothic style that Zemerckis uses is certainly impressive and good to look at. The performances too are great. Hawn and Streep give it their all and their dialogue is often sharp and funny. Willis looks a little strange as soft-centred hubby, miles from his performance as tough cop in Die Hard, but it is a welcome change. Overall the film has a great visual style and Zemerckis handles it well, moving it along quickley with many laughs to be had on the way. Yet despite the continual shots of heads being twisted around and holes appearing in Hawn's stomach, the film
                            lacks that extra bit of bite to be called a true black comedy: it certainly tries hard. To sum up, I would definatley give this a go, its very enjoyable and often amusing. The effects and the two leading performances steal the show. But not one of Zemerckis' best and no classic.

                            Comments

                            Login or register to add comments
                          • More +
                            18.02.2001 05:07
                            Very helpful
                            (Rating)

                            Advantages

                            Disadvantages

                            DEATH BECOMES HER is a film about the eternal struggle for everlasting youth and beauty. Meryl Streep, who is not known for her roles in comedy films like this, stars as Madeline, and aging actress who is obsessed with looking young. Goldie Hawn also stars as Madeline's childhood friend Helen, who looks much younger than she really is, and when Madeline finds out that Helen's youthful looks are due to a special potion, all hell breaks loose. The stand-out player in this movie is Bruce Willis, who plays the nerdy Dr. Ernest Menville. Prior to this film Willis was best known for his action roles, although he has always shown a great flair for comedy. It's great to see him cast against type here. The film is directed by Robert Zemeckis, and although it is not up to the standards of some of his other movies (notably the BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy), it is still great fun, with some fantastic special effects. Definitely worth a watch.

                            Comments

                            Login or register to add comments
                          • More +
                            16.01.2001 03:10
                            Very helpful
                            (Rating)

                            Advantages

                            Disadvantages

                            This is a very original black comedy,directed by Robert Zemeckis who also directed Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Back To The Future. Starring Bruce Willis,Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep. Its about two feuding Women,who have been at each others throats for years,vying for top dog position. This reaches its peak when Meryl steals Goldies future husband. Goldie then turns into a fat,dirty,lazy slob. From this She is sent to a special hospital which helps Her pull Herself together. Years pass the marriage between Meryl and Bruce,has gone stale,both their careers are in ruins. Meryl's prime concern is Her looks Her wrinkles and saggy boobs. Into this landslide of depression reappears Goldie looking slim and gorgeous.Shes back for revenge,intent on making them both pay. Meanwhile Meryl's been to visit a beautiful enchantress,who has sold Her some potion,which not only stops the ageing process but literally turns it back.So She's young and beautiful now. This is when the battle really begins which ends in both their deaths,but sometimes the dead just dont lay down........ Both Goldie and Meryl go all out for laughs in good performances that heighten the comedy. But the real credit has to go to Bruce,in a finely crafted performance that goes for understatment and sincerity. There was some clever special effects,although perhaps the constant attacks to Meryl's head can seem a bit tiresome after a while. One particular scene I enjoyed was when Meryl breaks Her neck falling down the stairs.But She stands up and Her head is back to front, very convincing effect. If you have not yet seen this film,you need to,to appreciate the inventiveness. It is very well written with some wonderful one liners and many memorable scenes. This is not a classic but one you could dig out every so often and enjoy.

                            Comments

                            Login or register to add comments
                        • Product Details

                          If Robert Zemeckis's mega-hit Forrest Gump was too sweet for your taste, you may enjoy the undiluted bitterness of his previous movie, a cynical black comedy that was ahead of its time. Death Becomes Her, an outlandish parable about America's obsession with youth and vanity, exposes the corrosive side of Zemeckis's comic sensibility, the sort of scathing satirical edge he gleefully flourished in his overlooked 1980 Used Cars, which has developed a cult following. Meryl Streep has a ball as the deliciously vicious Madeline Ashton, a flamboyantly mannered actress who makes Bette Davis's formidable Margo Channing in All About Eve look like a wallflower. Goldie Hawn is also in razor-sharp comedic form as Madeline's long-time "best friend," Helen. Sensing a bargain she just can't resist, Madeline steals Helen's meek, plastic-surgeon husband Ernest (Bruce Willis) for her own convenience, and the two women become sworn enemies. But the real complications arise when the two are introduced to a secret anti-aging formula by a mysterious and exotic woman (Isabella Rossellini, delightfully ridiculous) that not only smoothes away wrinkles but actually guarantees immortality. As their undying bodies are twisted and mutilated by violent attacks on each other, both women grow increasingly dependent on Ernest for cosmetic repair. The pioneering digital effects inflicted on Streep and Hawn are as grotesque as they are imaginative and hilarious. Like James Cameron (The Abyss, Titanic), Zemeckis loves a technical challenge, and the new visual tools developed for this movie made his later work (in Forrest Gump and Contact) possible. The digital video disc includes a short feature on the movie's production. --Jim Emerson, Amazon.com