‘Death Becomes Her’: The Little But Important Details You Might Have Missed
Stuck at home? So is ScreenCrush’s Matt Singer — which is why he’s watching things streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, Criterion, Tubi, and elsewhere, and then writing about what he finds. If you want to suggest something for him to watch and write about, find him on Twitter. Previous installments of this column can be found here.
Death Becomes Her (1992)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writers: Martin Donovan, David Koepp
Stars: Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, Bruce Willis
Box Office Total: $149 million
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 52 percent
Currently Streaming On: HBO Max
Why I Watched It: Would you believe I had never seen Death Becomes Her? Well, I hadn’t. The movie did not have a strong reputation when it came out in the early ’90s; critics called it “one of the most heartless mainstream pictures ever made,” and “fancy special effects and relentless sadism,” and “She-Devil with a makeover.” The consensus was that Zemeckis, always a skilled hand with special effects, had perhaps fallen too in love with them on this particular assignment. (The consensus was also that Zemeckis rediscovered the right blend of humanity and killer visuals on his next movie, Forrest Gump.) Death Becomes Her’s stars and subject matter were clearly aimed at an older audience than me, anyway. So I just never watched it.
At least anecdotally, it seems like that consensus has almost completely flipped in the last decade or so. Now Death Becomes Her is considered the classic and Forrest Gump is the critical punching bag. So let’s queue this sucker up on HBO Max and see what we find...
Gallery — The Little Details You Might Have Missed in Matinee: