Mona Dearly, a spiteful, loud-mouthed, unpopular woman dies when the car she is driving plunges off a cliff and into a river near the small upstate New York town where she lives. Wyatt Rash, the local police chief, investigates and suspects foul play in Mona's death. The whole town are suspects, including Wyatt's daughter Ellen, who is about to marry landscape artist Bobby Calzone whose business was suffering from his lazy business partner, Jeff, Mona's slow-witted son, as well as waitress Rona Mace, who was having an affair with Mona's husband. Written by
I did not expect much from this one, considering the lukewarm reviews it had gotten, and its brief time in the theaters. I was attracted by the cast - Dannny deVito, Bette Midler, Jamie Lee Curtis. I found it quite hilarious, as the earnest sheriff, DeVito, of Verplanck, N.Y., a down-at-the-heels upstate burg where everyone drives a Yugo due to a long-ago promotion scheme (an offbeat touch), attempts to solve the murder of the town's most hated woman, played by Middler. The script is very funny, and it is played well by all concerned. The collective i.q. of this God-forsaken hamlet does not appear to rise above room temperature. The frightening thing is that the tawdry machinations of all involved probably reflect pretty closely what life is really like in many trailer-park backwaters. My son & I found it a laugh riot. (As an aside, the movie accomplishes the seemingly impossible task of making Jamie Lee Curtis look positively wretched.)
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