CAST

Meryl Streep
Shirley MacLaine
Dennis Quaid
Gene Hackman
Richard Dreyfus
Annette Bening
Rob Reiner
Oliver Platt
DIRECTED BY

Mike Nichols
PURCHASE

Movie
Soundtrack
Book
Poster
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"I am so glad that I got sober now so I can be hyper-conscious for this series of humiliations."
Time: 101 mins.
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy

Academy Award nominations for Best Actress (Streep) and Best Song.
POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE is one of my favorites comedies. I watch it whenever it comes on televsion because no matter how many times I've seen it, it still makes me laugh. Streep and MacLaine are two of cinema's most gifted actresses and they dive into this film with complete abandon. Like their characters, they couldn't be more different as people and performers, but they share a bond that can't be broken – immense talent. Streep plays Suzanne Vale, an actress as famous for her work as for being the daughter of cinema legend, Doris Mann (MacLaine). She tries to do good work, but her drug habit gets in the way. It's the only way she can get through life and escape her mother's shadow. Of course, her poor performances are ruining her reputation and after an accidental drug overdose, she finds herself detoxing in a drug clinic and completely unemployable.

In order to work on her next film, she has to submit to drug-testing and move in with her mother. It's the last straw for a 40-year-old sober woman and she can't even take an aspirin to numb the pain. Streep is wonderfully funny and vulnerable as Suzanne begins to finally deal with her life. For the first time she has to make conscious decisions and she knows doing it without drugs will make her stronger, but it doesn't make it easier. MacLaine is fantastic as Doris – dancer, singer, diva extraordinaire. She's always on, because she has no idea who she is when she's off. Life is a stage and she's going to be the brightest star on it. She wants her daughter to be a success, just not as successful as her. Not only does Suzanne have to deal with a mother who's competing with her, but one who refuses to admit she's an alchoholic. Neither of them knows how to please the other though by the end they do come to accept one another. Their scenes together bristle with an energy filled with frustration, anger, protectiveness and love that most mothers and daughters are only too familiar with.

Suzanne tries to get on with her life, but it seems like everyone is trying to keep her down. After only one day, the entire staff of her new movie has something to say about her performance or her appearance – none of it good. The man who saved her life and then professes to be in love with her, turns out to be a real creep. Jack (Quaid) is not only a liar, but a total whore as well, sleeping around with everything that moves. In the end, Suzanne finds a friend in the last place she ever thought to look – at home. This is a funny, funny movie not because people are falling down and emitting strange sounds from bodily orifices, but because it's about life. Every irritating, frustrating, humiliating moment and how to triumph in spite of everything. Streep is a brilliant comic actress, making Suzanne and her foibles so human, you'd swear you met her before. If you've never seen this film, rush to the video store. You won't be disappointed.