The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981)
Article 5882 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Joel Schumacher
Featuring Lily Tomlin, Charles Grodin, Ned Beatty
What it is: painful
A woman, her system poisoned by chemicals from all the latest products, starts to shrink.
Given that I’m a big fan of the original movie adaptation of the Richard Matheson novel on which this is based, I’d probably look askance on any attempt to remake it in the first place. Now, I don’t object to the gender switch. Nor do I object to making it a comedy. I also don’t object to making rampant consumerism the villain of the movie. All of this could have worked. No, what kills this movie for me is firstly, the utter lack of subtlety, and secondly, the fact that whenever it’s trying to be really funny, it becomes loud, sloppy, and shrill. Especially shrill. In fact, I’m making that one of my absolute rules about comedy – shrill is not funny! And sadly, this movie spends a lot of time trying to be really funny and just ends up shrill. Ultimately, the only thing I liked about this movie was Rick Baker’s performance as Sidney the Gorilla.
Yet, there is one moment that especially disappointed me. This movie makes one definite nod to a moment in the original, and I was saddened that it took the one moment in the original that never worked for me. Yes, I know some people love that moment, but I always felt it was incredibly contrived. You probably know the moment – “As long as you’re wearing that ring…”