Welcome to Queerty’s latest entry in our series, Queerantined: Daily Dose. Every weekday as long as the COVID-19 pandemic has us under quarantine, we’ll release a suggested bit of gloriously queer entertainment designed to keep you from getting stir crazy in the house. Each weekend, we will also suggest a binge-able title to keep you extra engaged.
The Screamer: Death Becomes Her
Audiences didn’t quite know what to make of this dark fantasy comedy back in 1992. Beyond the groundbreaking visual effects, the twisted humor–satirizing Hollywood, femininity, wealth and obsessing over youth–didn’t land with moviegoers flocking to titles like Batman Returns and Home Alone 2. Thank goodness then, it’s found the fault following it deserves.
Death Becomes Her casts real-life besties Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn as a pair of lifelong rivals, Madeline and Helen respectively. Madeline, an actress of dubious talent, can’t stand the thought of Helen’s happiness, especially when Helen falls for a handsome surgeon named Ernest (Bruce Willis). Madeline steals Ernest away, leaving Helen alone to get fat and live with cats. Years later, as Madeline’s career has waned and Ernest’s alcoholism pushes him from surgeon to mortician, Helen reemerges as a bombshell beauty, and begins to seduce Ernest away. Madeline then turns to a mysterious potion that will grant her eternal youth and beauty, though at a very odd price.
Death Becomes Her has quotable zingers to spare, and Hawn and Streep kick their comic talents into high gear. Likewise, Willis gives his best-ever performance as the neurotic Ernest, a man caught between two forces of nature. Angelenos (and those familiar with the city) will get the most out of the movie’s ribbing of Los Angeles and its beauty standards, though anyone who has ever fretted over looks or success (and face it, if you’re reading this, you have) will empathize with the story. Hollywood humor seldom gets this black and bitchy…or this fun.
Streams on Amazon, Hulu, iTunes, YouTube, and VUDU