Volume 91, Issue 88
Tuesday, March 17, 1998
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
For fear, it's better to Scream than Hush
"DON'T MAKE ME COME OVER THERE, OR I'LL GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT!" A disheveled Gwyneth Paltrow wins the worst-mother-in-law/bad-hair-day contest as she runs from a ticked Jessica Lange in the latest pyscho-thriller, Hush.
By Dan Yurman
Even before Hush was released, it was already being praised. It features one of the most celebrated actresses in recent history, six-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Lange and up-and-coming superstar, Gwenyth Paltrow. With these two performers cast in interesting roles, the film has to be fantastic, right?
Wrong. Even this powerhouse duo can't save a film with a predictable plot that is ridiculous from beginning to end.
Paltrow plays Helen, a beautiful and angelic figure with the perfect life. She is to be married to the man of her dreams, Jackson (played by Johnathon Schaech from That Thing You Do). He takes her to his childhood home, Kilronan, where his seemingly perfect mother Martha (Lange) showers Helen with praise and love.
Beneath Martha's refined Kentucky smile, however, lurks a woman with dark intentions of bringing Jackson back to Kilronan to take over his birthright. The one threat to Martha's plan is her son's new lover, which she spends the rest of the film attempting to eliminate.
Paltrow and Lange are great. Lange's ability to go from cuddly to crazy in a heartbeat is unmatched in Hollywood, with facial expressions and psychotic tones that are believable and fun to watch. Paltrow's girl-next-door routine is fine as well. While she has been typecast throughout her career in this role, she has made the most of it in Hush. However, these credible performances are not enough to save the movie.
The problem with this film is the script, plot and story. Jackson is the most dim-witted character to appear in a film this year. He can't seem to make even one intelligent decision and completely loses his credibility by the half-way mark. This ruins the believability of Jackson and Helen's relationship and therefore debunks the entire movie. Throughout the film Martha reveals contradicting personalities to the other characters and the audience that are as see-through as cheap lingerie. Again, credibility goes out the window.
If the audience can get past all of this and make it to a highly entertaining ending, it might be possible to salvage this movie experience, right?
Wrong. The ending is so impossible to believe, from both an artistic and a scientific perspective, that the viewer has no choice but to turn to the person next to them and mutter, "Ya, right! I'm so sure."
Hush is a perfect example of a Hollywood team that figured a talented duo of performers could turn a faulty script into a gem of a flick. They were wrong and proceeded to put a very large blemish on the careers of two great actresses.
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