Postcards from the Edge (1990)___7/10

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Back when Carrie Fisher was Postcards from the Edge
the celebrity who crashes and turns... her life around

Directed by Mike Nichols
Book and screenplay written
by Carrie Fisher

Meryl Streep .... Suzanne Vale
Shirley MacLaine .... Doris Mann
Dennis Quaid .... Jack Faulkner
Gene Hackman .... Lowell
Richard Dreyfuss .... Doctor Frankenthal
Rob Reiner .... Joe Pierce
Annette Bening .... Evelyn Ames

Mary Wickes .... Grandma

Readers of my site know I often like to delve into the past for movies and books that are classics, at least to me.  Postcards from the Edge is such a piece for a number of reasons:

• Mike Nichols directs—One of the true masters of Hollywood
   with such giants as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966),
   The Graduate (1967), Catch-22 (1970), Carnal Knowledge
   (1971), Silkwood (1983), Working Girl (1988), and Primary
• Carrie Fisher writes—She was on her way to becoming
   an American sweetheart, a 70s sexed-up version
   of her mother, Debbie Reynolds, as Princess Leia in Star
   Wars (1977).  She had less central roles in subsequent
   movies including The Blues Brothers (1980) and Hannah
   and Her Sisters
(1986), and she also displayed substantial
   writing and singing skills.
• Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine act—Playing Carrie Fisher
   and Debbie Reynolds-like characters, respectively, these
   two provide a cinematic tour de force of the timelessly
   troubled Hollywood daughter-mother relationship.
• The times reveal—Culture is partly defined by artworks
   undertaken by celebs, particularly movies.  This movie
   sends up some largely hopeful signs of the times.

While I'm on the subject of positive vibes, the culminating scene of Postcards is full of life-affirming emotional fuel, at least for several women I know and care deeply for.  That scene features the rehabbed Carrie character (Streep) belting out the ulimate upbeat tune about conquering addictions: "I'm Checkin' Out... of this Heartbreak Hotel." 

It works for me.  And I know it's meaningful on even a deeper level for a lot of women... maybe for this day and age in particular.

Not to dwell on the myriad sources of destruction that seem to surround us—not the least of which is a rogue central government that we are struggling valiantly to wrest away from its persistent rampage—but the times today are just not obviously hopeful.  I think women are more sensitive to these matters than men.

My own manly feelings about the film are not so warm and fuzzy, but watching it again recently off the DVD I have to say the dialog and story are cleverly engaging.  Carrie Fisher is a first-rate writer and observer of the human condition.  Some of her lines for her character are worthy of another Carrie... Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City. :)

I'll leave you with this one from the IMDB site:

Jack Faulkner (Dennis Quaid): "I do not like this side of you."
Suzanne Vale (Meryl Streep): "I'm not a box, I don't have sides.  This is it, one side fits all."



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