There is a serial killer haunting New York. The Mayor is at the end of his wits, and insists that his Police Commissioner, Frank Starkey (Harvey Keitel) gets his brother Nick (Kevin Kline) back on the case, despite him being dumped publicly from the force years previously for some scandal. Then there his dumped love affair with Nick’s wife, Christine (Susan Sarandon), the new relationship with the much younger Bernadette Flynn (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) who, just to add complications, is the mayor’s daughter. And how wonderful to see the recently passed Alan Rickman as the hilarious artist friend.
Is there such a genre as romantic comedy crime thriller? Because that’s what this is – silly, romantic and yet it’s still a suspenseful, serial killer thriller. It’s wonderful, and ridiculous, and makes me want to see Kevin Kline more and more and more. I love him. There is one scene in the film that is most odd. I didn’t think Harvey Keitel was really acting all that much, but in a conversation between him and Kevin Kline, it seemed as though they were both in different scenes altogether, having different conversations. So extremely odd.
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.