A vain actress (Meryl Streep) steals a writer’s (Goldie Hawn) main man (a nicely nerdy Bruce Willis), and for about an hour Death Becomes Her is an enjoyably silly revenge fantasy with some wonderfully bitchy dialogue. Then Hollywood grandiosity enters in a ridiculous plot twist: Both women drink a potion to keep them eternally young, which becomes an excuse to get fancy with some FX. The twisting heads and holes through stomachs, from their encounters with various physical disasters, all appear very puny on the small screen. Often, when Hollywood goes whole hog with a horrible idea, as it does here, the effect is the equivalent of watching a child spend thousands of dollars in a candy store. What is initially interesting — and fun — about this movie is the idea of a satire about a society terrorized by the prospect of aging. What results instead, Streep’s deft comic turn notwithstanding, is a leaden farce powered by pricey inanity. C

Death Becomes Her
  • Movie