tek's rating: meh

Soapdish (PG-13)
Great but Forgotten; IMDb; Paramount; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes; Wikipedia
streaming sites: Amazon; Google Play; iTunes; Max; Paramount+; Vudu; YouTube

This came out in 1991, but I didn't see it until 2022. I wanted to see it for a long time, just because I like the cast. But I didn't know anything about it, really. Well, it's a comedy, but I only found a few moments mildly amusing, and I've already forgotten what those moments were. On the whole, I just couldn't manage to care about the movie. It wasn't actually bad, but it also wasn't my cup of tea.

It stars Sally Field as Celeste Talbert, an actress on a soap opera called "The Sun Also Sets". I got the impression the character was to some degree modeled after Susan Lucci, but that's not really important. There's another actress on the show, Montana Moorehead (Cathy Moriarty), who wants Celeste to be fired from the show, to which end she's promised the show's producer, David Barnes (Robert Downey, Jr.), that she'll have sex with him if he gets rid of Celeste. He wants to do that, but it's not so easy, because she is the beloved star of the show. So, first he tries to turn the audience against her with a new plot line for her character. The show's head writer, Rose Schwartz (Whoopi Goldberg), is a friend of Celeste, and refuses to write the plot line, but David gets the other writers to do it. It involves a new character played by an aspiring actress named Lori Craven (Elisabeth Shue), who turns out to be Celeste's niece. I suspect that's why at one point she said to the casting director, Betsy Sharon (Carrie Fisher), that she didn't expect special treatment. It was a line that didn't really make sense at the time, because no one knew yet that she was related to Celeste. Anyway, the storyline doesn't go as David planned, and Lori, who was supposed to be in only one episode, becomes a regular on the show. So then he decides to hire an actor named Jeffrey Anderson (Kevin Kline), who had been on the show many years earlier, but had been killed off. That was Celeste's doing, and we eventually learn why she did it, which was a secret. Actually, it involves a major plot twist in the movie, which I found entirely predictable, but which I won't spoil. David hired Jeffrey back to the show after all these years to make Celeste miserable, so that she'd want to quit.

I don't really know what else to say about the plot without spoiling anything. But I can say that the cast also includes Teri Hatcher as another actress on the show named Ariel Maloney, but she seems to me to be of no importance to the story whatsoever. She was just sort of there, you know? Also, Garry Marshall plays a network executive named Edmund Edwards, and there's not much I could say about him, either. And Kathy Najimy plays someone named Tawny, who works in wardrobe, but she's also not important. I wish I could have liked the movie, but I just didn't find it that funny. Oh, and there's a revelation about Montana that I really didn't like, which I won't spoil, but the joke just felt bigoted, to me. And it didn't seem necessary to the plot. And I don't know what else to say about the movie.

meh index