I’m taking mom, to show and tell. -Beth Kramer
The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981)
Posted By Heather On 16 Feb 2009. Under 1.5 Stars (Insignificant), 1981, Comedy, Family/Kids Tags: Charles Grodin, Jane Wagner, Joe Schumacker, Lily Tomlin, Ned Beatty, The Incredible Shrinking Woman
Directed By: Joel Schumacker
Written By: Jane Wagner
Staring: Lily Tomlin, Charles Grodin, Ned Beatty, and Rick Baker
When an ordinary woman is exposed to a unique mix of chemicals, she begins to uncontrollably physically shrink.
I’m not sure what’s going on, but it seems like I’ve seen nothing but terrible movies lately. Have I stepped into the twilight zone or is this real? I remembered The Incredible Shrinking Woman as a movie my mom enjoyed when I was a child, and now I feel compelled to ask her if she was smoking the pot. Without question this film, from scene one, was one of the most bizarre films I’ve ever watched.
Some of the points the story itself was making definitely had some validity. At this point in society working moms was becoming a regular commodity and Lily Tomlin’s character is slowly shrinking into oblivion showing that there is less need for the stay-at-home mom anymore. There is even a scene with her housekeeper putting her children to bed and doing all the things she feels a mother should do, but can’t. The film even goes so far to point this out in a television newscast and mention it for the less equipped audience. The ideal here is poignant, but the execution is relatively insane.
There is some mockery of the 70′s with the over-exaggerated pastels, but it’s taken a bit too far. The colors literally mimic Easter to the point where I find myself searching for eggs hidden in each scene. The only result is more bright pastels and Brady Bunch type families. To offset this strange color scheme is a strangely sinister feel about the movie. As a child I remember humor being a huge element in this movie and as an adult I love Lily Tomlin, but most of the funny is absent and replaced with an unnerving feeling of discomfort.
The Incredible Shrinking Woman just didn’t work for me. I was excited for a re-watch as an adult, but found myself more frightened than I was as a child. Why were there scenes where the kids were eavesdropping on their parents having sex? This seemed not only normal in the movie world, but it was supposed to be funny? I thought creepy. Joel Schumacker, you lost your mind on this one. This was a strange, strange piece of cinema.
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