“The Last Word”–A Movie Review   Leave a comment

“The Last Word” is a movie for people who love/like Shirley MacLaine and I am one who does. It is also a movie for people who enjoyed her role as Ouiser in “Steel Magnolias” in 1989 because as Harriet in this movie she is even more of a curmudgeon along with being a control freak who, in her 81 years, has ‘lost’ her daughter, (Anne Heche) husband (Philip Baker Hall) and whatever friends she might have had.

The screenplay by Stuart Ross Fink is how Harriet hires the obituary writer of the local newspaper, Anne (Amanda Seyfried), to write her obituary before she dies. She gives Anne a list of 100 names for her to go and see but comes back to Harriet to tell her that not a single one had anything nice to say about her. Harriet has not gained friends or respect by teaching her gardener how to garden, her housekeeper how to cook, her hairdresser to step aside so that she can do her own hair the way she wants it and she even ignores her gynecologist how to examine her.

From this point on there is nothing more to do except lean back and watch MacLaine, who has made over 65 movies starting with her first Hitchcock’s “The Trouble With Harry”  in 1955, taking the movie exactly where you know it will go.

Along the way we meet a girl from the projects, Brenda, (Ann’Jewel Lee) who Harriet is going to mentor, Robin (Thomas Sadoski) who Harriet will get to hire her as a DJ on his radio station, who she will try to fix up with Anne—no, that is not a spoiler as you know what will happen there.

The director, Mark Pellington, lets Shirley MacLaine take Harriet wherever she has to go and it is to the audience’s delight that she can take a line, give a look, that will make you laugh or feel her pain or show why this actress at 81 is a fascinating study on how to be a movie actress and star. Oh yes, even in this spotlight you see the woman as she is, the lines, the spots, the ‘rippling’ neck, an old woman who doesn’t hide a day of her 81 years. (I can say that because we are the same age.)

“The Last Word” is 108 minutes, about 8 minutes too long, certainly isn’t a must see but it is a pleasure to watch.


The Last Word movie trailer


Posted March 24, 2017 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized

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