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Jaded movie star Vanessa Windsor, saved from a studio accident by handsome extra Chris Farley, pursues him, and soon he's the 'caretaker' of her beach house. Vanessa's sexy, alcoholic adult daughter Penny accidentally meets Chris, who rescues her from an 'octopus' boyfriend. Before you know it, Chris is involved with both mother and daughter, and his only way out is to take a job in a Mexican picture about man-eating orchids... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
[Lily Frayne and her date, Pepe, are at the restaurant bar; Pepe looks troubled as he examines a bracelet on his wrist]
I don't know why you're objecting to that slave bracelet. I buy one for all my friends. I used to wear two or three of them myself around my ankle in the old days. Everybody wears them.
Pepe, Lily's Gigolo:
Mon cher, please, I'm bored hearing about "The Stone Age."
[shakes her diamond-covered hand at Pepe]
That's where these rocks came from, lover, and don't forget it.
[turns to Bartender]
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THE FEMALE ANIMAL is unabashed melodrama, as if some afternoon soap opera were fashioned out of SUNSET BOULEVARD... BUT there is a big BUT. Despite the idiocies of her character and the milieu in which it is established, the wondrous surprise is Hedy Lamarr's performance. She had done good work in the past when given half a chance, but that wasn't often. Here, as her career was sadly waning, she offers a sensitive and truthful portrayal of a fading film queen. Only in the worst of the soap opera moments is she unable to rise above the situation. I've seen criticism of Jane Powell's work, but it is not bad at all, thwarted by that same Wagnerian plot line. She gives it a good try. George Nader looks good but has the most ill-defined role of all. He, too, tries. And, then, there is the marvelous Jan Sterling, here in a bitchy role that, if better written, could have merited her professional attention. Jan, we miss you. Keller's direction is somewhat okay, with unobtrusive camera work and backed with clean cinematography. THE FEMALE ANIMAL is not a waste of time when one watches glorious Hedy showing what she can done, and with the underlying wonderment of how a good script could have taken these four performers to great heights.
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