Unfortunately, Jennifer Lawrence cannot save a bad film. She can make a mediocre film better and can make a good film amazing. But if a film is bad, no matter how good she is in it, it just doesn’t happen.
So, Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence) and her mother Sarah (Elisabeth Shue) move to a new town, into a house that looks through a patch of forest to The House at the End of the Street – a house where the parents were found dead, but the son STILL LIVES THERE – what a creep! Well, that’s what the townsfolk think, and they are happy to ostracise him and let their children beat him up, because he deserves it. Elissa knows better and befriends him, but should she pay attention to the small-minded small-town folks rather than thinking she is better than everyone? Oooh, who actually cares?
Lawrence does a great job of fear and running scared and battling and stuff, and even gets to wear a Die Hard-style filthy white singlet, but essentially I couldn’t care less. Don’t watch it. It is really terribly awful.
I don’t recall a recent film which has the style and pizzazz of Soapdish. Perhaps it is something which is specific to the early nineties; the spirit and the craziness. I remembered it being fabulous, and watching it again, I was not at all disappointed. There was a chance that it could have gone wrong, I suppose. But with this cast – Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Robert Downey Jr, Elisabeth Shue, Whoopi Goldberg, Teri Hatcher, Carrie Fisher… really, how could it?
Soapdish is a soap opera within a soap opera nearby a soap opera. Celeste Talbert (Sally Field) has been playing Maggie on The Sun Also Sets, a long running daytime television drama. She is an angel on-screen and a tyrant on set. The director, David Seaton Barnes (Robert Downey Jr) is being manipulated by Montana Morehead (Cathy Moriarty) to try to destroy Celeste, and he brings back Celeste’s old love interest Jeffery Anderson (Kevin Kline). But when a new actress, Lori Craven (Elisabeth Shue) appears on set, Celeste has to reveal her torrid past.
It’s funny. It’s consistently funny. The acting is over the top, but marvelously so. The way it has to be in a film with such hilarious, larger-than-life characters and storylines. It is truly a magnificent film. If you haven’t seen it. You must, must, must.