Saturday, August 9, 2014

Soap Dish (1991)

Of course I'm an egomaniac! I have America's Sweetheart climbing up my drainpipe!”

            I remember when I was in either middle school or high school all my friends would go home and watch this really weird soap opera. I cannot for the life of me remember what it was called but it was about witches and supernatural things. I caught an episode once when I went to my one friends’ house and it was so weird. When I was really small I kind of remember my mom and grandma always watching General Hospital. I just thought it was a weird grown up show. The closest thing I have ever become to being hooked on a “soap opera” was Grey’s Anatomy (is it weird that I have not watched the show in ages but I still adore Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang?).
            When I found the movie Soapdish on Netflix I knew it was about a mock soap opera and that it was a comedy. For some reason even though I do not like soap operas I felt like I had to watch it. I was not prepared for how outrageously silly Soapdish would be and I enjoyed it even more because of that.
            Celeste Talbert (Sally Field) is the darling of daytime TV. On set and in life she is given everything she could possibly want. Her life seems to be going well when she wins a Daytime Emmy but when she gets home she finds her boyfriend has left her.
            The creator of the soap opera is a young guy named David Seton Barnes (Robert Downey Jr.). He has two actresses around his arms at all times one of them being Montana Moorhead. Montana wants more screen time, she wants to take over the show from Celeste and she will stomp on anyone and anything to get her way. She gives David the idea to bring back an actor named Jeffrey Anderson (Kevin Kline) whom Celeste had fired years before.
            To throw another wrench, this time an unforeseen one, Celeste’s niece Lori (Elizabeth Shue) comes to town from the Midwest. She does not tell her aunt she is coming. Instead Lori tries to get a part on the show to surprise Celeste. Lori does wind up getting on the show and completely surprises Celeste. Celeste is very happy to see her niece but is willing to do anything to put a stop to Lori becoming an actress.
            The entire movie plays out as if it was an actual soap opera. The characters are the actors and actresses and their set and story are spontaneous and real life. Many twist and turns and plenty of drama happen.
            The cast was perfect. Everyone fit their characters to perfection. Sally Field was hysterical. I loved her outbursts and panic attacks and phoniness. Kevin Kline always reminds of a classic movie star with his acting. Whenever I watch him in a movie I feel like watching more he was in. Elizabeth Shue I have never seen in anything besides her current role in CSI. I liked her as well. It was interesting to see her really acting after seeing her be this one solid character over and over again. Robert Downey Jr. was adorable he was so young. He downplayed his character and that was what made me like him. Or maybe it seemed like he downplayed his character because everyone else was nuts! The movie is practically stolen by Cathy Moriarty who played Montana. Her character was such a bitch but her twist ending was hilarious.

            Soapdish is a very funny movie. I will admit there were times where it felt like it went a little off the handle and became too much but for the most part I enjoyed it. I recommend seeing Soapdish for the acting and if you are looking for something fun to watch. 

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