Reviewed by: Gabe Rodriguez
|Featuring:||Danny DeVito, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bette Midler, Casey Affleck, Neve Campbell|
|Producer:||Bart Rosenblatt, Eugene Musso|
“Drowning Mona” is a funny and entertaining (albeit rather offbeat and twisted) murder mystery about a small town filled to the brim with nasty white-trash residents. One of the nastiest, Mona Dearly (played excellently by Bette Midler), is about as mean and surly as they come. And when she “accidentally” drives her Yugo off a cliff, the local sheriff (Danny DeVito) starts suspecting that it may have been foul play. But as the tagline on the poster so clearly states, “The question isn’t who would want Mona Dearly dead, it’s who wouldn’t?”
The performances in this quirky little comedy couldn’t be more on the spot. Midler is trashy and campy in a good way, portraying Mona as ferociously as she can. DeVito as the sweet and lovable sheriff is rather understated, but he ecks out a decent performance. Neve Campbell and Casey Affleck are both cute and likeable as a soon-to-be-married couple. Jamie Lee Curtis plays a waitress at a local Greasy Spoon diner, and William Fichtner is Mona’s longsuffering husband. Complied with a great, hilarious script, debut director Nick Gomez goes over the top to make us laugh, and totally succeeds.
From a Christian standpoint, there are a few things out of place. First of all, the whole murder thing: it’s done in a lighthearted fashion, which may offend some people. So if making light of murder is not funny to you, stay away from “Drowning Mona”. The profanity in the film is fairly pervasive, especially from the potty-mouthed title character. While there is only 1 or 2 f-words, there are plenty of other expletives and obscenities. There is also a fair amount of crude humor and even a tame and brief sex scene, but they really don’t test the PG-13 limit. Also, there is a brief scene where a woman kisses another, but they aren’t lesbians (or at least ONE of them isn’t), and it’s played for laughs. There is NO romatic relationship between the two.
When it all comes down to it, “Drowning Mona” is by no means a great film. Funny and entertaining, but not great. For the price of the theater ticket, it was worth it. But bear caution before allowing any pre-teens to view this one.