Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA, 1981. New Line Cinema. Screenplay by John Waters. Cinematography by David Insley. Produced by John Waters. Music by Michael Kamen. Production Design by Vincent Peranio. Costume Design by Van Smith. Film Editing by Charles Roggero.
Divine is hilarious as a prim 1950s suburban housewife whose world falls apart when her porn-theatre owning husband (fifties heartthrob Tab Hunter) admits to having an affair with his secretary, her daughter gets pregnant, and her son turns out to be a foot fetishist. The locals start to protest the family’s remaining in the neighbourhood, and our heroine finds herself without any support to turn to. Director John Waters is obviously going for an allegorical examination of hypocritical American morality, but the film doesn’t entertain while it educates; Hairspray would do a much better job later on, and a more dramatic film like Far From Heaven would cover similar territory in a superior manner twenty years later.
The Criterion Collection: #995