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Roseanne gets "vengeance" upon a hubby-stealing romance novelist, by destroying her own life, abandoning her children, treating other's as pawns in her master plan, and exploiting the weak and trusting women in need that the films tells you she is freeing from oppression. This thing is a mondo-turd.
I hate this movie. I'll make no apologies to start. It's not funny. It's infuriatingly preposterous and at no point can one sympathize or appreciate any of the characters. They are the "basket of deplorables" that I believe Mrs. Clinton was speaking about; politics aside, she just hated these three people. Let's start with the easy spots: Ed Begley's Bob and Meryl Streep's Mary. The viewer isn't supposed to like them. They are the antagonists with Bob being an emotionally abusive and cheating husband (with a side order of being a buffoon) and Mary, an egotistical, spoiled and sociopathic bitch (for lack of a better word). Sure, they're the bad guys. You shouldn't like them. But in a comedy, you should enjoy them. In this POS, the screen-time shared between Begley and Streep comes across as a poor impression of The Three Stooges (minus 1). "Wow, aren't they zany!?" said the producer. The audience responds by pissing on said producer's pants.
Then there's ol' Ruth (Barr). Now she's had a rough go, right? Her husband's a twat, society told her that she's growdy and that darn Mary is just everywhere reminding her how inferior she is. So instead of taking a stand and defending herself against the offenses of her environment she plays along. She takes these punches and even stands by her cheating husband saying "He'll get bored of Mary and come back to me. I just need to be the good, dutiful wife until then." I'm sorry, you want him back? Strike one. Strike two is that you've let this happen before. The film subtly states that this isn't Bob's first escapade in cheating. Strike three, he's verbally abusive to you. I'm sorry but I feel that in even in sexist 1989, any woman that we should view as an inspiration should probably have told Bob at some point to eat shit. Yes I understand that abused women sometimes get a version of Stockholm Syndrome, but I'm not trying to make a point about reality. I'm making a point about a film that says that women shouldn't take no shit from no asshole, even if they are their husbands (and that is correct) but the film also states that hey, if you get lonely after you do, why not take him back? Screw this.
Then there's the worst part of Ruth's "journey": her exploitation of the women around her. Her character starts as an abused and low self-esteemed housewife with no chance at anything because of what society and her husband has told her. Ok...then she starts an employment agency that specializes in finding placement for women that are exactly like she was. Ok.....but then she uses them, ruining their lives, as part of her revenge plot against Bob and Mary. She doesn't help these women. She exploits their weaknesses just as had been done upon her. Fuck this person and fuck this movie.
In the end, take away these massively unlikable and unenjoyable characters and your left with a film with a poor story, little to none quality humor, absent directing, and too many cooks trying to pull the film into different directions of a women's empowerment piece and a screwball comedy and accomplishes neither of them. Avoid at all costs.
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