Geraldine Elmhurst Liddle - Deen to her friends - is up against five other contestants for the $2 million jackpot on the game show "Bring Home the Bacon!". News of her upcoming appearance ... See full summary »
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Geraldine Elmhurst Liddle - Deen to her friends - is up against five other contestants for the $2 million jackpot on the game show "Bring Home the Bacon!". News of her upcoming appearance on the show takes her small New Brunswick hometown by storm. She practices and studies for the show, but her friends and family just assume she's going to win. Even her younger sisters Rose and Greta and her friend Tina - her "three little piggies" as they are referred to on the show who are supposed to answer any question she cannot - don't study on the assumption that Deen will do all the work. In addition to her three little piggies, her friends and family let her know what they could use with her winnings. Beyond what happens on the show, Deen's notoriety from this event brings out some skeletons from the Elmhurst family closet. Written by
To begin with, this is a funny movie. It's different than you'll find of any other comedy you've seen and that alone makes it special. Set in a small city in New Brunswick, the story follows a group of wise-cracker women as they plot their vaguest fantasies.
The nice thing about the movie -- beside Mary Walsh -- is the spirit of the characters. They are poor, they are cynical, but yet they are also quick to laugh and joke. There is something uplifting about their camaraderie, flawed and filled with poison as it may be.
It's interesting to compare this movie to the play on which it is based, Les Belles Souers by M. Trembley. The play is also filled with quick wit, but there's a heaviness to it that puts the "social commentary" into overdrive. Despair weighs heavy on the dialogue, and each character embodies a sustained fascination with depression. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful play -- sort of in the spirit of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. The plot twists take you further and further into a murky world of unstable social politics.
Geraldine's Fortune has most of the same dark elements, but the stress is on the surface and the wise cracks and the humour. This allows the audience the greater freedom of engagement. In other words, John Smith doesn't want you to become depressed, but yet he also reminds us that humour is often the inverse of sadness. The hopes of the women for the big money prize from the (hilarious) game show reveal their self-doubt. But the cleverness of the movie, and the way it is made, leaves us wanting Geraldine to not win the prize, and to help the really important problems and people in her life in a more meaningful way.
Now for Mary Walsh. She's simply great in this film. A total dynamo. Compared to other films, like New Waterford Girl, Walsh has finally found a script that works for her personality. She's a quick witted, fast talking, eloquent jokester laden with barbs all viciously aimed at her loved ones. This is the character Walsh can do, not some mourning Maritime mother, and she does it well.
The other actors are solid and charming, though somewhat derivative. They serve the plot well. Jane Curtin stands out as Geraldine if only because her smile hinges between simplemindedness and lunacy -- reminiscent of Katherine O'Hara in My Mom's a Serial Killer. In any event, she's solid too, and if your up for a light and comfy movie with some genuine and unique humour, here's your movie.
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