Death Becomes Her (1992)

Goldie Hawn with a hole in her stomach is one of the most vivid movie scenes imprinted in my mind. I guess it's because I was around 10 when I saw Death Becomes Her for the first time, and it's pretty hard to forget something like that at such an age. I was scared though, I thought it was hilarious and my opinion hasn't changed much.

When Madeline (Meryl Streep) steals her fiancé Ernest (Bruce Willis), Helen (Goldie Hawn) ends up in a psychiatric hospital. Fourteen years later she comes back determined to get Ernest back and there's only one way that can happen, Madeline must die. So with Ernest, who has now become miserable to say the least, she plots a plant to kill her. But things don't quite work out as planned.

Although there's more to the story (it won't tell to not spoil it for you, just in case you never saw this), it's pretty simple and predictable, not to mention how silly it is, but at least it's original, it works and it's engaging from start to finish.

And it's hilarious. I don't know how it's even possible, but it gets funnier with each view. I guess it's because of its twisted, dark humour. There's both laugh-out-loud and slapstick humour, and there's the satire. Death Becomes Her is a huge satire on vanity, the obsession with eternal youth and living forever. It may be a silly comedy but it handles its subject well, in spite of the many and many clichés.

Universal Pictures
The characters are easily my favourite element of this film. The writing is quite dreadful. The development is nowhere to be found and we are never told how/why on Earth Madeline and Helen used to be friends in the first place since it looks like they've always hated each other, but nevertheless, I love them. The cast is the reason why. Both Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn are terrific as the two vain women, pulling off the comedy very well. My favourite, however, is Bruce Willis. He is amazing as Ernest, he's very likeable. Also, he's got the best lines like that iconic "It's alive" followed by one of the most memorable fights in movies I've seen.

Oh, I almost forgot. The special effects are terrific and they still hold up today's standards pretty well. The Oscar was deserved.


  1. Saw this probably around the same age as you and enjoyed it. Is there anything Meryl can't do?

  2. This is a fantastic film. And you're right about that dark, twisted humor. It's what truly makes the film.

  3. Lo considero un altro cult degli anni '90.
    All'epoca apprezzai molto la parte di Bruce Willis, diversa dal solito Uomo d'Azione.

  4. Death Becomes Her was one of our favorites growing up. The cast is hiliarious. I wish Bruce Willis did more roles like this one.

    1. Me too. He's so good when he doesn't do tough action guys.