Fix: camp, dark comedy, immortality, gothic, Frankenstein but make it sexy, murder, revenge, extreme early 90s
Academy Award®-winning director Robert Zemeckis creates an adventure about two women, Academy Award®-winners Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn, determined to win the heart of the same man, Bruce Willis. When they both drink an immortality potion, their mutual murder plans get a little complicated.
When Helen Sharp’s fiance, renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Ernest Menville, leaves her for her old frenemy, the aging actress Madeline Ashton, Helen has a psychotic breakdown that lands her in an inpatient facility. Seven years later, Madeline and Ernest, washed up and unhappy, attend Helen’s book launch, where Helen shows up looking like a grade-A hottie. Feeling insecure, Madeline seeks out the help of the mysterious Lisele Von Ruhman who sells her a potion that will keep her young and beautiful forever – so long as she takes care of her body.
Meanwhile, Helen is hatching a plan to get her revenge on Madeline, but it’s hard to murder someone who can’t die…and Helen would know, since she took Lisele’s potion too. Soon, the two former rivals find themselves embroiled in a complicated immortal-love-triangle-turned-murder-plot, and they can’t confide in anyone but each other.
Goldie Hawn as Helen Sharp and Meryl Streep as Madeline Ashton
While this is exactly the type of movie you would expect to see Goldie Hawn in (and she’s perfect in the role, of course), it’s especially fun to see Meryl doing campy comedy. Helen and Madeline are the ultimate example of “you two deserve each other” – two horrible people who are forced to live with themselves and the bad decisions they’ve made. But boy, it sure is fun to watch them suffer.
Bruce Willis as Dr. Ernest Menville
Once a famed plastic surgeon, Ernest’s career has gone to the dogs since he married Madeline, and now he’s an alcoholic undertaker who spray paints corpses. Don’t feel too bad for him, though, he’s a life ruiner in the truest sense who will leave his current amore with little more than an eyelash bat from whichever woman is the hottest in the room at any particular moment.
Isabella Rossellini as Lisle Von Rhuman
Isabella Rossellini is ICONIC as Lisle. The beaded necklace as a shirt? The cobra-collared robe? The man servants in tails and bike shorts? THE COKE NAIL? I, too, would buy whatever questionable anti-aging potion she tried to sell me. Honestly, this character would make a perfect sexy-but-also-clever Halloween costume for anyone who feels really confident about their boobs.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Scaredy Cats
Call up your friends who can’t stomach blood and gore. I mean, Death Becomes Her does feature a bit of body horror, but, like, in a funny way. It’s all camp, comedy, and – since this movie was made in 1992 – questionable CGI. It’s perfect spooky season viewing for anyone who’s looking for non-horror Halloween movies.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Viewer’s Choice
Despite its somewhat complicated plot summary above, this movie does not require your full, undivided attention OR sobriety to enjoy or understand. It doesn’t require booze to enjoy, either, though.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Halloween Camp
It’s hard to believe this isn’t a Tim Burton movie – it has the same gothic style juxtaposed against uncanny pastels and scratchy violins that Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice are known for. It fits firmly into the early 90s wave of gothic Renaissance movies that people get super nostalgic for this time of year, but tends to fly under the radar more than others.