Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

Serial Mom

Serial Mom
Kathleen Tuner, Sam Waterston, Ricki Lake, Matthew Lillard, Patty Hearst and Suzanne Somers

Rated: R for language and partial nudity.
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: April 13, 1994 Released by: Savoy Pictures

In the final scene Serial Mom (Kathleen Turner) kills Juror #8 (Patty Hearst) because it is past Labor Day and Juror #8 is wearing white shoes. The murder is committed in front of a picture of Spiro Agnew. This is a clever but shrill work by director John Waters who has directed other off center films like Polyester. Serial Mom has main stream actors such as Sam Waterston as the confused husband but it is not a centrist film by any means. It is more a cult film which will find its audience at midnight shows and on tape.

The work is extremely clever and well written. Turner plays Beverly Sutphin as if she were the main character on The Donna Reed Show, sweet, loving and perfect. Her flaw lies in the fact that she expects perfection in everyone, so it her neighbor doesn't recycle her trash she may wind up on the hit list. Those on the hit list wind up facing her Charles Manson side.

Turner's performance is brilliant as her mood changes are bizarre and hilarious. This is a far different Turner than in Body Heat.

The film is different and a little strange. Ricki Lake (Cry Baby) is daughter, Misty, a large young woman who is obsessed with boys and enjoys the attention she receives from this silly tabloid press during the trial. Porn star Chesty Morgan appears on a video and Suzanne Somers plays the actress who is signed to play in the TV film about Serial Mom.

If you're in the right mood for this black comedy and if you look close, there will be plenty of guilty laughs at situations that should not be funny. Be aware: this is not a typical suburban family movie.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Serial Mom  B                        B 

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