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Death Becomes Her (1992)

tomatometer

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 2

audience

61

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 172,895

My Rating

Movie Info

High-concept director Robert Zemeckis applies his usual polish -- helped by an equally adept cast -- for this surprisingly gruesome and extremely funny black comedy. The film begins with narcissistic actress Madeline (Meryl Streep) stealing the latest in a series of potential fiancées, wimpy plastic surgeon Ernest (Bruce Willis), from her ex-best friend Helen (Goldie Hawn). Depressed and infuriated, Helen suffers a breakdown that lands her in a mental hospital -- in addition to a junk-food

PG-13,

Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy

Martin Donovan

Jan 20, 1998

Universal Pictures

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All Critics (28) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (12) | DVD (4)

Highly amusing, but there's nothing to the feature beyond cheap thrills and a few laughs.

July 30, 2012 Full Review Source: BrianOrndorf.com
BrianOrndorf.com

In this darker than dark comedy, the actors (Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn) are used as props, part of Bob Zemeckis' nasty, effects-driven satire of our obsession with youth and physical looks.

February 12, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

manic and crazed, but well-done

April 29, 2005
Shadows on the Wall

Stunningly inventive madness.

January 1, 2004 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Some neat ideas in this flick, all of them way overplayed.

August 20, 2003
New Times

Further evidence that Zemeckis is the anti-Christ

November 5, 2002 | Comments (2)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Relies way too much on the FX toys, but there's also some really funny stuff scattered about.

July 26, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

Audience Reviews for Death Becomes Her

A film about rich and famous folk trying desperately to cling on to their youthful looks by any means necessary, well mainly women in this case. Gee not too far from the truth really is it, seeing these two aging Hollywood female stars, neither of which are particularly attractive in my book, acting narcissistic egotistical and spoilt whilst under thick layers of makeup. I think the trowels of makeup are the only way these two can achieve any remote level of beauty frankly.

The plot is all about a magic potion that...errr magically turns people into younger firmer versions of themselves and gives you immortality. A potion of youth and eternal life, but the trick is you must disappear from public view after ten years to keep the secret...errrrrrm secret, yeah. So naturally you can expect the cliched spectacle of seeing various ultra famous people popping up who have never really died from the public eye, forever immortal stars people wanna believe are still with us eg. James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis etc...

The first thing that hits you is how can this supposedly sexy siren (Isabelle Rossellini), who's real age is 71, keep this amazing secret under wraps in LA of all places!. She has dished it out to so many famous people who all abuse their fame it seems, its incredible she hasn't been discovered. She's an illegal magic potion dealer with muscle bound henchmen who are also all on it. I would of thought it might also get harder to hide this when people die and start to walk around like decaying zombies as we see slowly with the main two characters.

The other niggling bit is where exactly does she get this potion from? she seems to have quite a lot of it, does she make it in the basement?. And while I'm on it, her massive mansion, is that suppose to be 'disappearing from the public eye'?! really?? I mean seriously you couldn't get anymore attention if you tried!, the house is a freakin' castle!.

Yes the films plot is totally full of holes but I guess its not suppose to be remotely serious, just a silly fantasy. To a degree it does work, this is mainly down to the terrific special effects that at the time were virtually groundbreaking. It was quite good ghoulish fun seeing Streep and Hawn battle it out 'Beetlejuice' style with all the undead goofiness. Willis doesn't really do much accept scream the whole time and the sets have a nice modern gothic style accompanied by crashing lighting and thunder, which is cool for all the goths out there (like myself).

When it came out this was a pretty big hit as I recall, stayed in the cinema a while and I did enjoy it when I saw it (at the cinema, mum LOVED it!). Looking back it doesn't really hold up, sure the effects are still quite neat and there are some amusing bits, but generally its so stupid, lame and completely makes no sense...which ruins it in the end. Its pretty much a live action cartoon with a wafer thin plot, the poster is also a complete rehash of 'The Witches of Eastwick', best stick with that movie though.
January 21, 2014
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

Yeah, it's a bit dated now, but it's bitchy and entertaining with some decent effects for its age.
July 20, 2013
romy861

Super Reviewer

Funny black comedy. Bruce has an affair with Goldie. She plots to kill his wife Meryl. Both women are aging but they discover an immortality potion. Great cast. Great special effects for its day.
March 10, 2012
thmtsang
T Tsang

Super Reviewer

Dark comedy, enhanced by FX and the manic performances by the two unlikely leads (whoda thunk of Streep and Hawn as a comic duo??? But they work it!) that asks the age old question: "so you really want to live forever?"
October 23, 2011
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

    1. Madeline Ashton: My ass, I can see my ass.
    – Submitted by Nicolas L (2 years ago)
    1. Madeline Ashton: Now a warning?
    – Submitted by Peter K (2 years ago)
    1. Ernest Menville: The morgue? She'll be FURIOUS!
    – Submitted by Rain T (2 years ago)
    1. Helen Sharp: Do you remember where you parked the car?
    – Submitted by Neptune F (3 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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