Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
There must have been moments on the set of "She-Devil" where Roseanne Barr went into her dressing room and locked the door and asked herself what she was doing there, co-starring in a movie with the immortal Meryl Streep. We're in on the amazement, because Barr has done such a thorough job of documenting her life in comedy routines, in confessional interviews, in her book and on talk shows. Here is a woman who only a few years ago couldn't have gotten an autograph from Meryl Streep, let alone steal a scene from her.
There's a delicious element of sweet revenge in Barr's entire career. Here is the woman who proves, for all of us, that we could be TV stars and stand-up comics, if only we got a couple of breaks, because we've sure got more on the ball than the morons who are making it in show biz. And that sense of realized revenge is an undercurrent throughout "She-Devil," which works both on a fictional level and as a real-life demonstration that Barr and Streep are indeed right there in the same movie.
If Barr is correctly cast, so is Streep, who has always had a rich vein of comedy bubbling through her personal life - few people are merrier during interviews - but who has dedicated her career to playing serious or even tragic women, most of them with accents. Here she's given a juicy role to sink her teeth into: Mary Fisher, the best-selling romance novelist who seems like what would happen if the genes of Barbara Cartland, Jackie Collins and Danielle Steel were combined in the same trash compactor. It's a role that calls out for broad, fearless interpretation, and Streep has a lot of fun with it.
Barr's character is named Ruth, and she's a fat, plain suburban housewife with a mole on her upper lip that looks like a surgically implanted raisin. She is married, none too securely, to an accountant named Bob (Ed Begley Jr.), who dreams of moving up in the ranks of his profession by becoming an accountant to the stars. Fate grants his wish. He meets Mary Fisher during an incident involving a spilled drink at a charity benefit, and one thing leads to another so rapidly that he cruelly drops off his wife at home before ending up in bed with the lustful novelist.