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'Drowning Mona'

By Desson Howe
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 3, 2000


    'Drowning Mona' Bette Midler stars in the ensemble cast of "Drowning Mona." (Destination)
Nick Gomez made an astounding debut with a film called "Laws of Gravity." And now he makes this? I watched "Mona." I felt like drowning. This agonizingly forced black comedy features semi-known performers (William Fichtner, Casey Affleck) who aren't very good, and better known performers (Neve Campbell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Danny DeVito) who are even worse. In the small town of Verplanck, N.Y., Bette Midler is Mona, a nasty old hag who dies under mysterious circumstances. DeVito's Chief Wyatt Rash investigates the suspects, only to find that everyone, from Mona's husband (Fichtner) to local girl Ellen (Campbell) has some kind of motive. They all hate Mona! Who doesn't hate Mona? I know I hate Mona. One by one, we spend time with a collection of characters who are supposed to be earthy, kind of cutesy and of course hilarious white trashers, all caught up in an upstate New York upstate Agatha Christie whodunit. I guess I can't get into a movie whose funniest extended gag is that everyone drives a Yugo.

DROWNING MONA (PG-13, 91 minutes) – Contains strong language, sexual situations and tedium.

© Copyright 2000 The Washington Post Company


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