HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1
First Cow
Undiscovered Tomb
Being Frank
Occupation: Rainfall
Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
Pariah
Weapon, The
Godzilla vs. Kong
Love and Monsters
Tove
Young Wives' Tale
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  Soapdish TV Hell
Year: 1991
Director: Michael Hoffman
Stars: Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Robert Downey Jr, Cathy Moriarty, Elisabeth Shue, Whoopi Goldberg, Teri Hatcher, Garry Marshall, Kathy Najimy, Arne Nannestad, Paul Johansson, Sheila Kelley, Leeza Gibbons, John Tesh, Stephen Nichols, Tim Choate, Carrie Fisher
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Celeste Talbert (Sally Field) is one of the most beloved soap opera actresses in the land, known for decades as America's Sweetheart, so it's little wonder she has won the best leading actress gong at the Annual Daytime Television Awards for the umpteenth time. Not everyone is happy with this turn of events, however, as her co-stars Montana (Cathy Moriarty) and Ariel (Teri Hatcher) are plotting her downfall from what they see as too long at the top - they demand the head writer, David Seton Barnes (Robert Downey Jr), have them replace her in the fame stakes...

Soapdish didn't exactly get a huge welcome when it was first released, but has gone on to survive past those early claims that it was merely a second rate rip-off of Tootsie to win a cult following. Its central conceit was that it was a tale of the behind the scenes turmoil at a daytime soap that matched, if not overtook, the stuff that was going on in front of the camera, which was sort of like the Dustin Hoffman hit, it was true, but here they were far more dedicated to sending up the medium. The cast were up for a laugh at the expense of the lesser wattage stars who showed up on such things, but there was an affection to the gags too.

As if these celebrities were observing "There but by the grace of God go I" and thanking their lucky stars that their career saw them appearing in fairly big Hollywood movies instead of struggling to get to the forefront of a less artistically demanding occupation. Still, there was a sense of hubris about the way everyone here was taking the mickey out of the lower orders of stardom, and there can't have been nobody in that business who felt a small sense of satisfaction when this flopped. Field, Kline, and the rest had their faith in this justified nevertheless, because Soapdish became popular on television showings (perhaps ironically) and video.

Not the greatest thing ever, but at least there are a fair few who can honestly say the goings-on here made them laugh. If anyone seemed amused it was the makers of this film, of course, because what was actually being parodied more often than not here was the pretensions of actors and actresses who have a tunnel vision that they can only see their self-expression as the be all and end all of their existences. Celeste is on the permanent verge of a breakdown as she clings to her status, which is in no apparent danger of deserting her, yet that does not salve her insecurity, and her ex-lover and ex-co-star Jeffrey Anderson (Kevin Kline) would be a more apt candidate for that kind of behaviour anyway.

That's because he was sacked due to Celeste's motivations that are not clear at the outset, and now is getting by in Florida dinner theatre for the benefit of old folks who can't hear him over the munching of their meals. As we join him he is fighting a losing battle with Death of a Salesman, but what he dreams of is the chance to offer the world his one-man Hamlet (!), so when Montana decides the best way to derail Celeste would be to bring Jeffrey back on the show, he jumps at the chance. To complicate matters, and this does get complicated without actually getting complex if you see what I mean, Celeste's niece Lori (Elisabeth Shue) has arrived in town and wishes to follow in her aunt's footsteps, wangling her way onto the set and a job there. There are enough funny and bitchy lines to satisfy, in a film that unlike Tootsie was more of a women's picture and did not resort to groaning attempts at tearjerking as many in that style were resorting to at this point. It knows it's ridiculous. Music by Alan Silvestri.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2559 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: