Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Die Mommie Die!

Posted on

Charles Busch, Die Mommie Die

Die Mommie Die

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
runtime:
90 minutes
Limited Release Date:
10/31/03
performer:
Philip Baker Hall, Jason Priestley, Frances Conroy, Natasha Lyonne
director:
Mark Rucker
author:
Charles Busch
genre:
Comedy

We gave it a B-

Intentional camp tends to weigh down the screen like soggy fruitcake, so one can be forgiven for cringing at the prospect of Die Mommie Die! It’s based on a play by its star, Charles Busch, who puts on a frowsy brunet wig to play Angela Arden, a fallen ’50s pop diva who presides over a family of warring hysterics.

At first, the chintzy, lavishly layered fusion of ”Mildred Pierce,” ”All That Heaven Allows,” and ”What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” makes you think you’ve wandered into Mel Brooks’ ”Far From Heaven.” Busch, looking like a depressed Stockard Channing, throws his tantrums with breathy ”aristocratic” hauteur. Yet the movie winds up walking a line between put-on pastiche and kitsch passion, and Jason Priestley is perfect as a brooding lunkhead of Tab Hunter gigolo-osity.