Film-Forward Review: [DIE MOMMIE, DIE!]

Reviews of Recent Independent, Foreign, & Documentary Films in Theaters and DVD/Home Video

The reading of the will in DIE MOMMIE, DIE!

Rotten Tomatoes
Showtimes & Tickets
Enter Zip Code:

Directed by: Mark Rucker.
Produced by: Dante di Loreto, Anthony Edwards & Bill Kenwright.
Written by: Charles Busch, based on his stageplay.
Director of Photography: Kelly Evans.
Edited by: Philip Harrison.
Music by: Dennis McCarthy.
Released by: Sundance Film Series.
Country of Origin: USA. 94 min. Rated: R.
With: Charles Busch, Jason Priestley, Natasha Lyonne, Philip Baker Hall & Stark Sands.

Like Far From Heaven, this is a glossy homage to the Ross Hunter produced melodramas of the '50s and '60s, except played for laughs. Charles Busch is the actress Angela Arden (think Susan Hayward), star of such films as The Song of Marie Antoinette. She hasn't had a hit in years, but still maintains a regal bearing. Trapped in an unhappy marriage to aging film producer Sol Sussman (Hall), she has a handsome gigolo on the side, the well-endowned Tony Parker (Priestley). She sadly admits to Tony that she has a "green thumb in everything but raising children." Her daughter, daddy’s girl Edith (Lyonne), hates her, and her son Lance (Sands) - kicked out of college for corrupting the male faculty - is the bane of his father’s existence. And hovering in the background is the mysterious death of Angela’s twin sister Barbara. Die Mommie, Die! is pure camp filled with double-entendres and ripe dialogue. Angela describes a memory as "lingering like smog over the canyon." Tony warns Angela, "You can't discard me like one of your false eyelashes." But it’s all frivolity - there's nothing at stake, even as the plot turns to murder. In a supporting role, Busch has hilariously appeared in drag in Psycho Beach Party. But this time the illusion doesn't hold up as well under the camera’s close and constant scrutiny. And in too many scenes, the actors’ cues aren't picked up. It's as if they are waiting for the laughter while appearing in an extended skit on The Carol Burnett Show with fleeting full frontal nudity. Kent Turner
October 31, 2003



Archive of Previous Reviews

Contact us