Guilty Pleasure: Death Becomes Her

Ooh, it's Friday the 13th! I should write about something scary. Or at least morbid. Of course, writing about morbid pieces of entertainment is hardly anything unusual for me, but I'm trying to keep to a theme here. I was puttering around my apartment last night, and wanted to watch something I enjoy, but don't have to pay overly close attention to. My eye fell on Death Becomes Her, and that was that.

It's often tough to distinguish between a guilty pleasure and an underrated movie. Neither one is particularly loved or respected by the world at large, but I'd say that an underrated movie is one you feel should have been praised more highly, while a guilty pleasure is something you know is crappy, but adore it anyway. Death Becomes Her pretty definitively falls into the guilty pleasure category; I don't think anyone's out there arguing that it should have gotten more critical acclaim. That's not to say it didn't get any. Its special effects were pretty remarkable for 1992 - so much so that it won an Oscar for them.

This movie is hammier than Easter. Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, and Isabella Rossellini take turns chewing the scenery as vain, selfish immortals, while Bruce Willis does his best to be the lovable goof in the center of the whirlwind. I like Bruce Willis in general, but his is the least successful performance here. I'm not sure why Meryl Streep's wild overacting works, while Willis' doesn't, but then, it's Meryl Streep. Everything she does works.

Luckily, I don't have to defend a guilty pleasure. I know how spastic, shallow, and just plain weird this movie is, and I don't care. There are plot holes you could pilot the International Space Station through, and I don't care. I'm not proud of loving Death Becomes Her, but love it I do.


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