Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 1998. TriStar Pictures. Story by Jonathan Darby, Screenplay by Jonathan Darby, Jane Rusconi. Cinematography by Andrew Dunn. Produced by Douglas Wick. Music by Christopher Young. Production Design by P. Michael Johnston, Thomas A. Walsh. Costume Design by Ann Roth. Film Editing by Lynzee Klingman, Robert Leighton, Dan Rae.
Unapologetically corny, this is a melodrama so ridiculous it is enjoyable for its own reasons. Jessica Lange is the personification of evil with a smile as the domineering mother-in-law to sweet, innocent Gwyneth Paltrow. Paltrow has no idea what she is getting herself into when she decides to marry her live-in boyfriend (Johnathon Schaech). On a visit to the boy’s family ranch, she meets Mommie Dearest and learns enough about her to realize that the jealous bitch isn’t going to let her marry him without a fight; trouble with this movie is, the guy is never really worth a fight. Perhaps it would have been more fun if Paltrow’s character was just as ruthless in wanting to keep what she feels is hers and it all ended with a Joan Crawford Johnny Guitar showdown. Readers, watch Cousin Bette instead.