There must have been moments on the set of "She-Devil" where Roseanne Barr went into her dressing room and locked the door and asked herself what she was doing there, co-starring in a movie with the immortal Meryl Streep. We're in on the amazement, because Barr has done such a thorough job of documenting her life in comedy routines, in confessional interviews, in her book and on talk shows. Here is a woman who only a few years ago couldn't have gotten an autograph from Meryl Streep, let alone steal a scene from her.
The heart of the movie involves the revenge that Ruth takes out on her husband and Mary Fisher - revenge so thorough and methodical that she even takes time to jot down the areas of her husband's life she wants to destroy: first, his home; then his family, career and freedom, in that order. Bob has accused her of being a she-devil, and she is more than willing to play the role. She will haunt the faithless bastard until he wishes he had never heard of accounting, much less of Mary Fisher.
When Zsa Zsa Gabor's treacherous schoolmate added 10 years to the actress' official age by producing that old school yearbook not long ago, I felt a twinge of sympathy for Gabor. If there is no honor among women lying about their ages, then what is sacred? But the Mary Fisher character in "She-Devil" is such a vain and snobbish woman that we can take a sadistic delight in Ruth's most devilish scheme, which is to disguise herself as a nurse, locate the novelist's feisty mother (Sylvia Miles) in an old folks' home and produce her to the press along with a detailed history of Mary Fisher's true past.
Ruth Patchett never thought of herself as particularly devilish. Rather the opposite in fact - simply a tall, not terribly attractive woman living a quiet life as a wife and mother in a respectable suburb. But when she discovers that her husband is having a passionate affair with the lovely romantic novelist Mary Fisher, she is so seized by envy that she becomes truly diabolic. Within weeks she has burnt down the family home, collected the insurance, made love to the local drunk and embarked on a course of destruction and revenge.
Only seems appropriate that just before Christmas we should announce our summer list of titles . . . You can click here to download a pdf version of the new catalog (which contains excerpts from all the books), or, for those of you who are anti-pdf, the list below has the basic information for the next five Open Letter titles.
A fun-house mirror through which he examines the creative process, the life and loves of artists, and the New York art scene, Gasoline confirms Quim Monzó as the foremost Catalan writer of his generation. 2b1af7f3a8