Drowning Mona (2000) Poster

(2000)

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10/10
Underrated gem...
lughsaoirseeire28 January 2005
I believe that this movie was panned when it first came out, and I don't know why. It is truly an underrated comedic gem that deserves more recognition. The performances are perfect (with the exception of Campbell) and the dialogue is hysterical.

William Fichtner steals the show as the sleazy "battered husband." His performance is tops in a stellar cast. Marcus Thomas is excellent as his son and lazy landscaping partner to Affleck, who is marvelous as the nervous and long-suffering lead. Will Ferrell puts in a great cameo as a creepy mortician.

Are there flaws? Of course. As another comment mentioned, Tracy Walter's character, Clarence, could have been developed more. Also, some the other characters' run-ins with Mona probably could've been better detailed as well, and the resolution isn't the most satisfying. But this movie is less about the plot and more great characterizations and riotous dialogue.

I own the DVD and I roll with laughter every time I see it, even though I practically have it memorized. This movie should be remembered as
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This film is much better than the actors seem to think....
Dresscircle1927 July 2003
Why are people so hard on Drowning Mona? I just saw it and enjoyed it a lot. In years to come I believe it will be seen as the same genre as The Good Girl - an attempt to bring very ordinary people to life without apologizing for their ordinariness. In A Good Girl, Jennifer Aniston works very hard to portray an ordinary, poorly-educated young woman in a dead-end job. She has to really work hard to suppress the natural intelligence of a very bright mind and make her ordinary girl sufficiently dumb. But she does it beautifully. In Drowning Mona - portraying Bobby Calzone, Casey `Affleck has a similar challenge. I think he creates his character brilliantly. I am so shocked to find higher up this page that Casey is ashamed of his work on this movie. Can this be true? It seems quite possible - on my DVD package he is the only major cast-member who doesn't give an interview. Casey is handsome and delightful but he manages to leave an impression of terminal dumbness. All the guy wants is to make a reasonable living fixing gardens, but his problems seem insurmountable and it's getting to him. I get the feeling that none of the cast were stirred or excited with Drowning Mona - you need to see the on-set interviews to judge this. Nevertheless it is a successful little film in its own terms and has a lot of gentle humor in it. Affleck, deVito, Midler, Lee Curtis do a very professional ensemble piece as you would expect. As a former copywriter I find the landscaping company slogan hysterically funny: J & B Landscaping - `Yeah, we can do that'. I get the impression the whole cast read through a rather 'thin' script and said exactly that.
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10/10
Hilarious Black Comedy
homeworld7 January 2004
This is a different kind of comedy -- maybe too subtle for some people's tastes -- but anyone who appreciates the dark humor in "Raising Arizona" or "Fargo" should give this movie a viewing.

Casey Affleck portrays a perfectly bewildered, hopeless, helpless suspect in the murder of The Worst Woman (Formerly) Alive, Mona Dearly. There are dozens of hilarious, subtle, and easily missed lines and facial expressions throughout the movie which define the many characters inhabiting a small town in upstate New York where Yugo once tested its cars. The town itself, and most of its denizens, are like the Yugo: simple, no- frills, unassuming, more than a little deficient in many ways, but unique and endearing in an odd, pitifully likable way.

If seeing a Yugo on the road today brings a smile to your face, see this movie. If seeing a Yugo on the road today makes you angry, see something else.
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An Unexpected Intellectual Comedy
mave_dragon5 December 2004
Drowning Mona is now a cult favorite of mine. The script is unusual yet amazingly funny. Every time I watch this movie, my understanding of its comedic genius grows. Especially for English language buffs, this film's edgy and blatant use of word order and delivery are what make it so hilarious. No line is extraneous or meaningless--they all add up to one hell of a funny film. I'd recommend this to serious movie goers who enjoy an intellectual thrill, a script that puts faith in the audience's ability to understand and not be told outright. If you crave a change from the typical Hollywood Blockbuster formula of drugs, sex, violence, and sentimental life lessons, watch this film. It still manages to deliver action and comedy--but are you smart enough to watch it?
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9/10
"White trash Murder on the Orient Express"
mhoney-122 May 2007
Maybe Danny DeVito and Bette Midler should collaborate more often. The two times they did it was comedy gold. While this movie is not as flat out hilarious as "Ruthless People," it should still be enjoyed by the same people who love that movie. It starts with a prologue stating how Verplanck, New York was the location where they decided to launch the Yugo line of cars in America. As a result, everyone in town, including the police, drives a Yugo car, and they all have catchy license plates like UGOMONA, ELLEEE, and OH RONE.

As the title suggests, this black little whodunit concerns who opted to rid the small town of Verplanck of its nastiest inhabitant, the matriarchal hag Mona Dearly (Midler, who chews up every inch of the screen in her "Rashomon"-esque flashback scenes). Police Chief Wyatt Rash (Danny DeVito, playing against type as the straight man), is determined to find out, even if nobody else cares to help. It's come at a bad time, because he's trying to help his daughter Ellie (Neve Campbell) plan her big wedding to mild-mannered land-scaper Bobby Calzone (Casey Affleck), who has just ended up short-handed after his beer-guzzling partner Jeff Dearly (Marcus Thomas, the epitome of slackerdom) takes a leave of absence. Bobby also seems unnaturally concerned with the the death of a woman who meant only bad things for him.

The characters, while bordering on cartoons, are played tongue-in-cheek, and you know the actors had fun doing it. There's the chain-smoking waitress Rhona Mace (Jamie Lee Curtis), who's having an affair with the deceased's husband Phil (William Fichtner, who walks away with the movie as a complete scumbag), and Bobby's overbearing brother Murph (Mark Pellegrino). The cops are just as zany, with Peter Coyote as the do-gooder lieutenant, and Paul Ben-Victor and Paul Schulze (Ryan Chapelle from "24") as a couple of bumbling idiots who seem to be good for one thing, looking out for Numbers One. There's Katherine Wilhoite as Lucinda, the lesbian folk-singer mechanic, and the great Tracey Walter is on board as the local fisherman who nobody really knows much about. Add in a foul-mouthed, alcoholic priest, and a funeral director who's also an amateur pornographer (Will Ferrell before he became huge), and it's a feast for those with a twisted sense of humor.
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8/10
Hilarious and well-done
lady_stardust_pdc6 March 2001
This off-beat comedy is definitely one of the better movies I've seen recently. The plot is engaging and fast-paced; the movies doesn't even come close to the two-hour mark. The conclusion is satisfying and unexpected.

Every actor is perfectly cast. Casey Affleck gives an excellent performance as put-upon Bobby Calzone, Neve Campbell is terrific as Ellen, Bobby's fiancee, and Danny DeVito is loveable and sweet as police chief Wyatt Rash, Ellen's father. All in all, this is a very good movie, perfect for a lazy day.
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7/10
Imagine a town where everyone drives a Yugo....
TuckMN7 March 2000
... even the police.

Bette Midler, even though she is the title character, gets second billing to Danny DeVito.

In the recently released "Isn't She Great" she gets to play both sides of the ugly/beautiful coin and she does it here again brilliantly.

Sherriff Wyatt Rash (DeVito) has too many suspects in the death of Mona. Everyone would like to see her dead.

Neve Campbell as his daughter (Ellen) turns in a fine performance. Her breakdown and ultimate (short-lived) lesbian experience with the town's mechanic is either over-the-top -- or just short of being brilliant; hard to tell.

Casey Affleck (Ben's little brother) is very one-note -- I want to believe that it was written that way and that Bobby is not as shallow as the script would have us believe.

This is not a film that will appeal to everyone -- but hang in -- it only gets better as it goes along.

I enjoyed it -- and as I reflect on it -- it only gets better.
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7/10
Not Bad, Not great either
jackattack2869 May 2003
Drowning Mona is a hard movie to describe. On the one hand, I liked it because, the cast seemed to be doing the best with what the script they had to work with. On the other hand, the plot seemed choppy and the dialogue was for the most part pretty stale. Will Ferrell absolutely steals the movie with his part as the creepy funeral director who laughs inappropiately, has trouble with the right way to make eye contact, and is constantly having sexual trysts during the viewing. If you're looking for an offbeat comedy, give this a try. But don't rush out and kill yourself to see it.
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7/10
Highly recommended for "black comedy" junkies .............
merklekranz25 June 2010
In a town full of "Yugo" cars, and mentally challenged residents, we find fertile ground for a terrific dark comedy. Bette Midler plays Mona, a monstrous woman everybody has a reason to hate. When her Yugo plunges into the lake due to foul play, no one seems to care that she is dead, and everyone is a suspect in "Drowning Mona". William Fichtner absolutely steals this movie, as Mona's "battered husband", who likes to play "Wheel of Fortune" with Jamie Lee Curtis. Meanwhile, Danny DeVito, as the sheriff, has plenty of suspects, including his future son-in law. If you enjoy "black comedies" like "Ruthless People" or "Eating Raoul", this is a must see, and comes highly recommended. - MERK
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5/10
More ruthless people.
Brogan7 March 2000
Everybody hates Mona Dearly, and who could blame them. Mona (Bette Midler) is rude, loud, cruel, and another word for "female dog." Then something happens, Mona dies in a car accident, and town sheriff Wyatt Rash (Danny DeVito) found out that Mona was murdered, and who would kill her. The problem is that there is a long list of suspects. DROWNING MONA is a film that is a good example of the term "black comedy" a film where the viewer would laugh at something that they wouldn't normally laugh at. But unlike some other black comedies (i.e. the most recent IDLE HANDS) this film isn't as cruel and does work. The small town where DROWNING MONA takes place is a intresting town. In the late 1980's, the entire town received test cars from the Yugo car company. And what's funny is that everyone in the town drives a Yugo. Town sheriff Wyatt goes around his town looking for the person who would tamper with the Yugo that Mona was driving, and send her to her watery death. There's Mona's husband, Phil (William Fichtner) who is having a affair with Rona (Jamie Lee Curtis), who is also a suspect. There's Bobby Calzone (Casey Affleck) a young and ambitious young man who is engaged to the sheriff's daughter, Ellen (Neve Campbell). Then there is Bobby's partner in their business, Mona's son, Jeff (Marcus Thomas) who is very dim, and mean. This is a enjoyable film, but it's not the best black comedy of all time. It does work at times, and at other times it fall flat on it's face. There are some very funny scenes involved with Mona's son, Jeff, on how he might have lost his right hand. And the town's loony mortician (Will Ferrel) does have some good scenes, but not enough. The acting from the cast is good though. Danny DeVito is good as the man who is investigating the crime of Mona's death. Jamie Lee Curtis is also good as the woman who could care less about Mona, and move on with her life. Neve Campbell does o.k. with what little role that she has. William Fichtner, Casey Affleck, and Marcus Thomas are all also good, but nothing outstanding. It seems that the person who gets to steal all of the scenes belong to Bette. She does another role that she is good at, a role that is similar to her role in RUTHLESS PEOPLE. But overall, DROWNING MONA isn't as funny or as witty as RUTHLESS, since both films have characters that are rather ruthless. But director Nick Gomez (HBO's THE SOPRANO'S & OZ) does a respectable first time job for a big feature film. MONA isn't great, but it's worth watching at least once. But if you want to see DeVito and Midler act more funnier and vicious, watch RUTHLESS PEOPLE. ***1/2 (out of five)
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Fairly Amusing with Bad Acting and a Low Amount of Laughs
jmcool516425 December 2000
Warning: Spoilers
REVIEW: DROWNING MONA **1/2 (SPOILER AHEAD!!!! IT'S THE ENDING! BE WARNED!) Drowning Mona is a movie that is like an obese runner. He starts out with a good frame of mind and is going as fast as he can. Soon, he gets slower, slower, slower even coming to a complete stop once in a while until by the end of the race he is crawling on the ground, desperately trying to get faster, but failing. Drowning Mona has some really good ideas and could've been a very funny dark comedy on the lines of say, The Cable Guy, but it's ruined by a weak script and really bad acting. One of its problems is the fact that this is set in a small town. This satire of small town life angle is getting so used up! This should have been set in a big city with Mona as the head of a corporation or something and the suspects are everyone in the corporation. Another is the fact that the acting (except Neve Campbell) is really bad. Casey Affleck has some potential, but the character he had was so bad that he couldn't play him and all he does for 90 or so minutes is mumble. Same with the guy who plays Jeph. The movie also suffers from one of the dumbest endings in a movie I have ever seen. (SPOILER!) Why would Rash let BObby go just because he's marrying his daughter? If I were Rash I would have beaten up Bobby and sent him to jail where he will serve hard time and "hard" time with a 404 lb. inmate named Bubba. And if I were the guy who wrote this, I would've trashed this script and started over on the corporation thing...But that's my movie...
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9/10
One of my favorite dark comedies of this time
mikeychef9 February 2014
I am so missing my copy of, "Drowning Mona", luckily it has been on my cable movie channel lately. Anyway, I have always been shocked that this film never saw more critical acclaim. To me it is the epitome of what a, "dark comedy", should be. The tremendous word play, goofy (yet well developed characters as well as character relationships), even though the characters were mostly small town and moronic, they were intertwined/interwoven in such a smart and believable way to me it is a tragedy this film is not known to most movie lovers, for it is high up on my list of all time favorite funny movies. Although thanks to your website I have at least come to find out that this film has been characterized as having a cult following, which makes me feel more at ease. The all star cast delivers one liners after one liners that all add up to such a hilarious finish, not only does it get better with age like a great bottle of red wine or single malt, but I always come away noticing something(albeit small) new. Spending time growing up both in a Pennsylvanian small town and the Bay Area, I love the small town feel of this movie, yet I find the characters intellect to be closer to those of big city even though they're relationships are more small town. Anyway I love this movie, and never do things like this but just had to give props to the creators, writer, and cast for such a spectacular piece of art, big up's!
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6/10
A dark comedy that falls flat
Toshiro12 August 2000
This film had potential. There are many name actors who all appear to be having a good time. The premise of the whole town hating Mona Dearly could have worked if Bette Midler had played the part less "over the top" and more sinister. Casey Affleck is seriously miscast and has no chemistry with Neve Campbell who is the best thing in the movie. Danny DeVito (sorry Danny)is just unbelievable as the Sheriff. The whole film has the aura of a project gone bad.
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10/10
An underrated jewel of a movie
bat11612 October 2012
I own over 1,000 movies and Drowning Mona is one of my favorites. It's a dark comedy... which not everyone can appreciate, hence the bad reviews... but the dialog is hysterical and the characters are awesome.

Set in the quirky little town of Verplanck, New York... where virtually everyone drives a Yugo with a vanity plate... the movie is filled with odd characters that are the real key to it's overall charm.

Bette Midler shines in the role of the recently deceased Mona... a woman with few if any redeeming qualities.

Jamie Lee Curtis is sublime in the role of the slutty waitress Rona... complete with mullet and dangling cigarette.

Pay attention to the details. That's where some of the best humor lies.

If you enjoy dark, tongue-in-cheek, bizarre little comedies, this is your movie.
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8/10
Great, funny, sweetly dark mystery/comedy.
FiendishDramaturgy16 September 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This movie really makes me laugh. The dialog is hilarious, the acting is very realistic and Danny Divitto, Neve Campbell, Jamie Lee Curtis and Bette Middler add their own talents to this otherwise wonderfully dark comedic masterpiece.

There are no special effects, there are no expensive props. There is nothing to lend to this movie but the acting talents of these marvelous actors and William Fichtner (Detective Alex Tardio of "What's the Worst That Can Happen?") is excellent as Phil Dearly, husband of the deceased Mona Dearly, the woman everyone loved to hate.

Mona drives herself off a cliff, but during the preliminary investigation, one which the police chief (Divitto) thinks in the beginning will be cursory, he discovers that there isn't just a list of small-town suspects. There is a town FULL of suspects.

The question turns quickly from "Who did it?" to "Who didn't do it?" There are even a few twists as the story moves along.

Marcus Thomas portrays Mona Dearly's son, Jeff, in a way that only he could. His portrayal is good enough to make you want to see him hanged upside down into a pool of piranha. That's good acting. Somebody give that man a ROLE! He's good!

It's a great movie with a great cast and wonderful portrayals of small-town life. Dead on. The characters have depth, and the story has a line. It's directed well and presented beautifully. Very entertaining and enjoyable movie.

If you liked the Addams Family's feel of dark comedy, "A Fish Called Wanda," or "Fierce Creatures," you'll love this one.

It gets a 7.8/10 from...

the Fiend :.
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7/10
A creative comedy
toasty_4 March 2000
This movie was a good comedy, very creative. It reminds me of "Drop Dead Gorgeous" but this movie was much better. I liked it because of the humor in the movie, the acting was good the accents sounded real. This is a different kind of comedy and I recommend it to all people.
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7/10
give it a chance...
tripperM26 October 2000
the VERY subtle, black,new york humour is evidently lost on a lot of people. with its john waters type society and cohen humour at times it really catches the giggles.

he's a drama director, but for nick gomez's first black comedy it's a good try. although it was a bit slow in edits and timing to really catch the humour that was intended, i still had a good time. i really like bette midler, and she and danny de vito make a great comedy team.
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9/10
One of the best flicks I have enjoyed
rmr35993 January 2010
I rated this film as a 10 for reasons of "entertainment". If you can't sit down and enjoy this movie as to the wacky personalities of these folks you're in trouble. The cast is excellent and they all play their parts well. Beth Midler is fantastic as well as DaVito and Curtis. Lest we forget all the other cast members that balanced out this soon to be cult classic as a wonderful movie. When it gets down to it, this is just a fun movie and that is what a movie should do for you and that it to entertain you. Jeph is a sort of clueless individual that could be compared equal to a box of rocks when it comes to smarts. Bobby while being somewhat better still shows a bit of "doesn't really suspect much of anything" type of person. Phil while not the smartest of people displays himself as being a wimp when in Mona's presence. I'd say Wyatt and Ellie are probably the two most sane people in the movie. As Phil said about Mona, most of the cast are people with some sort of personality disorder. I did notice that with some of the flashbacks that Jeph did have both his hands at several points and I still wonder how he actually lost his hand.

Still a fun movie, don't miss it along with some great sound tracks included too.

It's a 10, yep......
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8/10
Great Flick
robertshackelford30 March 2013
This movie is great. It's full of stars, many before their prime. Three Dog Night allover the soundtrack. Sukie and the diner owner's sister from the Gilmore Girls pops up for a moment. The girl from Studio 54. Ben Affleck's little brother. Bette Midler who was the queen of the beloved plays a disgusting person. Danny DeVitto who normally plays disgusting is a pretty good dude. The support cast is packed full of recognizable character actors. The story is compelling. The plot is convoluted, filled with flashbacks. Yugos everywhere. The product placement is so blatant its funny in and of itself. I really appreciate how thy dare to make most of the Characters such terrible people.
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7/10
Funny and high energy, for slapstick comedy fans. *** out of ****.
Movie-1215 March 2000
DROWNING MONA / (2000) ***

Starring: Danny DeVito, Neve Campbell, Casey Affleck, Bette Midler, Jamie Lee Curtis, Will Ferrell, and William Fichtner Directed By Nick Gomez . Written by Peter Steinfeld. Running time: 95 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for thematic elements, language, sexuality, and some violence).

I've always been vulnerable to the genre of slapstick comedy. When movies spoof with screwball or physical humor, for me it is a struggle not to break down in laughter. "Drowning Mona" may not be a truly worthy production, but the film does offer funny concepts within its contents, some that are hilarious with punctuality. This comedy touches ironic base with nearly every topic possible, from murder to lesbianism, and accidents to brutality. There are laughs regarding plot jokes, concepts, one liners, physical pranks, and visual gags. Director Nick Gomez is careful not to go too far over the top in his movie's parody but still pushes the boundaries of burlesque cinema in an interesting manor.

No one mourns over the death of Mona Dearly--a woman so brutally mean spirited and uncompromisingly inferior, even her husband rejoices of her demise. Mona dies tragically in an automobile accident within a small outcast town after she losses her car brakes and plunges off the road into a lake below. Hardly anyone comes to her funeral, except her husband, Phil Dearly (William Fichtner), and her fully grown son, who owns a landscaping business with a friend named Bobby Calzone (Casey Affleck). The entire town seems to be rejoicing over the loss of this putrid, hated citizen. "I've seen people more upset over losing change in a candy machine," explains a character in one scene. Through flashbacks, we learn why. Mona does horrible things like smashing her son's co-worker's car with a golf club, accuses people, commits dastardly deeds, chops her own offspring's limb off, and is a poor sport at nearly every event we witness.

The movie is filled with a variety of wondering and well-cast characters. They include Wyatt Rash (Danny DeVito), a local sheriff who is convinced that the death of Mona Dearly was no accident and considers everyone who hated Mona (every individual who knew her) a suspect. Ellen (Neve Campbell), the daughter of Rash, engaged and impregnated by Bobby. Rona, (Jamie Lee Curtis) a chain smoking waitress who is having an affair with Phil. Rona, however, is cheating on Phil with his son. There is also a local fisherman who seems to witness ever important incident that occurs.

I enjoyed the film's appropriately zany and fun characters a lot. Each is somewhat interesting and well depicted by talented actors and actresses. Mona Dearly is one of the most hilariously overacted character's I have seen in quite some time. Bette Midler is the perfect choice for Mona, with her exaggerated gestures and reactions. Her performance supplies half of the picture's effective funny moments.

"Downing Mona" is certainly not a perfect production. It has several massive problems contained within the story and characters. The audience doesn't learn whether this is a movie about the mysterious death of a local woman, agonizing wedding preparations for a young embraced pair, a police detective's investigation of an alleged murder, an independent and struggling landscaping company, an adulterous affair, and even boneless chicken is figured into the equation. Some of these scenarios do not seem to recognize the presence of the others, proving what little narrative connection they have with each other.

The film also desperately attempts to fulfill unexplained nuggets the story brings forth in non-chronologically based orders that never really clarify ideas. Although some of these incidences induce laughs and intrigue, the funny material needs to be in reference with the plot, not outside the story's boundaries.

The movie's mystery is not as sufficient as it could have been. It is infectious and interesting, but unfocused and drifted. Though amusing and twisted, the whodunit concept is lackadaisical and flat--concluding with a lazy and disappointing situation. I adored the film's soundtrack, however, which consists of a variety of popular melodies and catchy rhythmical tones. The included music induces suspicion as well as mood settings and an effective black comedy atmosphere.

"Drowning Mona" works as a slapstick comedy because of two reasons. 1) The subject matter is literal and serious, creating an obscure yet black funny mood, and 2) the actors create screwball personalities for their characters. If this kind of comedy has those elements, it nearly guarantees its success. I give this film a recommendation to fans of its gender, albeit marginally.

Brought to you by Destination Films.
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1/10
An uninspired moment
danielll_rs22 October 2000
DROWNING MONA (2000) **

So what we have here? A story about an eccentric and unbearable woman who everyone in the town has a strong desire to kill. One day she dies victim of a sabotage. Everyone becomes a suspect. Everyone is also eccentric. There is a marriage coming up and the police chief must find the killer before that. As you can see, the story is banal, but would be pretty interesting if it had fallen in the hands of the Coen brothers. Unfortunately, it didn't.

I may say at once that DROWNING MONA is not an awful movie. It is pretty bad, but somehow watchable "if you have nothing else to do". However, it could have been much, much better if they had good director and writer to turn the banal story into one delightful film. Nick Gomez (WHO????????????), the director, tries to make something odd and hilarious, but he never gets above the shamefully mediocre.

Oh, well! There is a very decent cast here. I usually don't like Bette Midler's kind of humor, but I can stand her at times. In DROWNING MONA, she is in the screen for not much time, but she repeats everything she uses to do. I said decent cast, didn't I? Neve Campbell was never great, because she always acts the same way, but she is nice and truly convinces. Danny DeVitto is always above the average and he is the best here. Jamie Lee Curtis is keeping on with her failed career (no, we still didn't forget VIRUS); she is surprisingly good here. There are other good supporting actors, but one delivers one of the worst performances of the year: Casey Affleck, Neve's fiancé.

If DROWNING MONA can't be great, it has everything to be an average film. There are some good moments, contrasting to very bad ones. The pacing is uneven, the soundtrack is peculiar not in a great way, the characters are bland but interesting, some situations are funny. It is average, watchable matinee film, right? No, because of the conclusion. It is so bad, so uninteresting, so idiotic, that makes the film even worse. The identity of the killer is so obvious, arbitrary, stupid, that we can't believe. I still thought there would be something else, but there wasn't. If the hits and misses are there, the end threw away all the mystery.

The final result of DROWNING MONA is not very positive. I'm being generous of giving it 2 stars, so maybe some day I change my rating. It went straight to video here in Brazil because of the box office flop in the US. If I had seen it on the movies, it would have been a disastrous experience.
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9/10
Much better than the rating suggests
bruceatitus17 September 2019
I love dark, quirky little comedies and this movie certainly fits that description.

Much of the humor is somewhat cerebral ... like the fact that everyone in town drives a Yugo with a vanity plate or that the board game "Wheel of Fortune" is used as a means of foreplay ... but there are plenty of straight comedic moments as well.

Bette Midler shines in offbeat roles so she was born to play Mona. Jamie Lee Curtis is brilliant as the sleazy waitress who occasionally comes up with terms like "counter-factually incarcerated".

The plot twists and turns can be a bit hard to follow the first time through but overall this is a gem of a little movie.
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7/10
A quirky, refreshing movie.
abbywts3 November 2008
I've seen this movie many times now, and it holds up every time I see it. There are some decent moments here that really come to the fore with multiple viewings. There's so many things about this movie that are completely stupid, but in a good way. The fixation on Yugos and Wheel of Fortune- it makes no sense, but I laugh. The missing hand of one of the characters- but it works. The bizarre amalgam of time periods-is it the 1970's or the 1980's or what?. The music and some fashions seem to be from the 70's, but Wheel of Fortune and Yugo seems to indicate 80's. But it doesn't matter. It's its own universe, and if you can buy the strangeness, you might have a good time. The interchange between the two cops, and the Will Ferrell character are special standouts (and I normally can't stand Ferrell).

Now the bad part, Bette Midler almost single-handedly tanks this movie. She overacts so badly and is so amateurish, that it's really stunning. My guess is that the casting directors looked at Ruthless People (where she was decent) and thought that that would work here. It doesn't. I can't help but feel that people who watch this for the first time are so poisoned by her presence, that they turn off from the whole thing. But I didn't really want to punish the rest of the movie just for her, I can ignore her.

Also watch just for a display of the some of the worst hairstyles ever, especially on Curtis and her character's boyfriend.
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10/10
Favorite movie of all time!
nicoleshay11 August 2018
This movie hasn't received the recognition it deserves. By far my favorite movie ever.
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8/10
Mona's dead, let's celebrate!
Sylviastel1 June 2008
Mona Dearly of upstate New York was a housewife and mother of a son played by none other than Bette Midler. She was married to Phil (played by the wonderful William Fichtner) Mona was abusive, mean, and probably the most disliked person in the small town. Her husband claimed to have been battered man. Watching Mona in action, you can understand his claims. Her husband Phil is having an affair with a diner waitress Rona, played by the wonderful Jamie Lee Curtis, who is also having an affair with Phil and Mona's son at the same time It's like a Jerry Springer episode at times. Neve Campbell plays Ellen who is engaged to Calzone, Casey Affleck's character, and is pregnant. Her father is played by the wonderfully talented Danny DeVito as the town Sheriff. There are other characters like lesbian Lucina who comforts Ellen with a kiss. The writing is fair to say the least. The cast look like they are having the time of their lives on screen and it comes across off screen as well.
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