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Overall Rating

Awesome: 25.81%
Worth A Look38.71%
Average: 9.68%
Pretty Bad: 25.81%
Total Crap: 0%

2 reviews, 19 user ratings

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by Jack Sommersby

"Mostly Nothing But Soap Suds"
2 stars

Kevin Kline is aces here; unfortunately this doesn't extend to the rest of the cast and crew (though Ueli Steiger's cinematography is reliably luscious).

When Kevin Kline takes on a dramatic role, he's usually dull -- a handsome milquetoast with an SAG card; but when he does comedy, a dormant talent seems to awaken, and he's nothing short of spectacular -- as his 1988 Oscar win for his performance as the eccentric hit man in A Fish Called Wanda more than proved (after all, the Academy's record on Oscars for actors in comedy has always been dire). Kline is, again, spectacular as a former soap-opera actor in the satirical Soapdish, where he blows everyone within earshot right off the screen. Granted, the screenplay affords him a good number of amusing scenes -- my favorite is his being reduced to performing Death of a Salesman at a Florida dinner theatre to a bunch of geriatrics who are hard of hearing ("Did he say, 'The mayor of Providence.'?") and clumsy (when a lady knocks her coffee cup over, to silence the lady from repeatedly calling for the waiter, Kline steps off the stage to clean it up, eliciting a thank-you and a compliment that he's doing very well up there) -- but Kline takes the written words and injects oodles of sharp irony into them, and it's something truly beautiful, like watching a bud blossom into a rose. Unfortunately, Kline is the only worthwhile element in a film that's overly broad way too much of the time and thus wears you down not fifteen minutes into it, with director Michael Hoffman's jackhammer-like subtlety the chief culprit. Like way too many sitcoms, each scene comes with it's own built-in climax, so the comedy is given little chance to build (excepting the dinner-theatre bit); combine this with most of the actors (particularly the gruesome Sally Field and Whoopi Goldberg) shouting their dialogue so shrilly a bullhorn couldn't be heard, and you have yourself an abrasive "entertainment" that goes down as well as swallowing two aspirins with a dry throat. Yet Soapdish isn't a complete waste. After all, for those seeking to watch a true comedic genius at work, there's Kline hitting each verbal and physical joke right out of the park in spades.

1982's "Tootsie" unleashed far better jabs at soap operas.

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originally posted: 03/19/06 09:43:31
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User Comments

3/24/18 Suzanne Laugh out loud hilarious! 5 stars
4/06/06 Troy M. Grzych A great cast having fun playing on screen. Fun to watch but forgetful. 3 stars
9/26/04 NJ Cup Winner 95-00-03 I've enjoyed myself a lot less in my life, like reading Butterbean's comments, for example 4 stars
2/05/04 ROY L. CAIN,JR. A clever spoof of the Soaps. MMM: Montana Moorehead, Mamacita! 5 stars
4/01/03 Jack Sommersby Forced and heavy-handed, but it breezes by and Kline is screamingly funny. 3 stars
8/16/02 KMG stupid 2 stars
3/15/02 Iris Dementia Praecox About as insanely zany as a substanceless movie can get! 4 stars
10/11/01 Andrew Carden At Times A Very Funny Movie, Downey Does In Fact Ruin It Though. 4 stars
9/20/01 Butterbean If you are an old fart who likes to watch CBS, then you will love this. 3 stars
8/12/01 Alejandro it's a comedy, and it's as fun as they're supposed to be 4 stars
4/16/01 Corey Q One of my all-time favourites! Every line is hilarious! 5 stars
2/16/01 Elvisfan No complaints, just laughs laughs & more laughs! Really good time 5 stars
1/10/01 Coo Just great 5 stars
7/22/00 Eric Liégeois Elisabeth Shue is my favorite actress and she is great in Soapdish 5 stars
12/03/99 Holly Kincaid Love this movie! Using it for one of my film class papers! 5 stars
6/26/99 hum funny 4 stars
5/27/99 GothamDK Very tight, over the top script! Almost as tight as Hatcher's bod (pre-Lois days). 4 stars
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  29-May-1991 (PG-13)



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