Rebooting a comedy can be tricky sometimes since there’s no guarantee with reboots that they’ll be every bit as good as the original or if they’re going to even keep to the same formula that made the first movie worth watching. But in this case, it’s kind of fair to state that She-Devil, starring Roseanne Barr and Meryl Streep, While the movie wasn’t a total bust it was still a flop since it didn’t manage to make its budget back and, on top of that, it was campy as hell, but it was still funny in a lot of ways. The whole premise is that a bitter and betrayed housewife named Ruth, played by Barr, is seeking to get back at her cheating husband after finding out that he’s having an affair with one of his more attractive female clients, Mary Fisher, played by Streep. Ed Begley Jr. plays the role of Bob Patchett, who is one of the most clueless guys that any movie has ever produced since while he thinks he’s being so smart and following his own path toward happiness, he’s leaving behind a seriously pissed off wife that wants revenge.
The thing about Ruth is that she doesn’t end up exploding or doing on a homicidal rampage, not even close. She actually has the foresight to nab Bob’s file on Mary Fisher, as Bob is her accountant/lover, and then destroy her house in various ways by doing everything that we’re told to never do, such as leaving a hairdryer beneath a pile of pillows, throwing metal spray cans in the microwave, and various other forms of destruction that leaves her home as a smoldering ruin. Thankfully she does take the dog with her, and the kids are at school when she decides to take Bob’s first asset, his home, away. The next three assets that are to be taken are done in hilarious fashion since after dropping the kids with Bob and Mary with no intention of coming back, Ruth puts the next stage of her plan into motion.
It’s very easy to think of Rose as being one of the most devious minds in this story, but it’s also just as easy to think that she has every reason to be since her husband took off with a client and in doing so made it clear where his priorities were. Seeing this kind of thing happen today might make some people think that this movie couldn’t be made again, but in all honesty, those that say such things are allowing the satire of the movies from the past to stand out as real problems when the truth is that nothing made back in the day was made with harmful intent, and the only reason they’re seen as such now is that people forgot how to take a joke and thereby rob the actual acts of the power that they have over our lives when thinking about them. The truth is that such acts are to be condemned in real life, but comedy is something that helps to not only cope with the horrific things that people do to each other, it’s also designed to rob the horrible acts that people commit of a lot of their force since the truth is that everything that Ruth does in this movie is very devious since she breaks several rules and many laws no doubt.
But the best part of any movie, especially a comedy, is that they have the power to take something that’s outwardly negative and turn it into a funny story that can amuse and entertain people and, if possible, can even take the sting out of the acts that are committed since the fact is that this movie is very anti-men since Bob isn’t the only schmuck that pops up in front of the camera. The pool boy Garcia is kind of a slime as well, but he’s a little more likable, and Bob’s lawyer is a scuzz as well since he has every intention of bribing the judge that is set to preside over Bob’s case when he’s arrested for embezzlement. Despite being slightly anti-men however, the movie is still funny since it picks out the stereotypes and deals with them accordingly.
Rebooting this movie makes it feel as though the three main characters should return, and perhaps Vesta Rose should make a comeback, or reveal that it never faded in the first place. That might be a fitting tribute to the original movie, especially in an era when, like it or not, men are doing what we can to make sure that we do come off as decent people that are trying to change things around. The reboot could be another sign that the doom and gloom heard in the news from time to time and over the past several years is more hype than help, and it could satirize the situation at the same time.