Behaving Badly (1989) Review

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As time goes by very very slowly

Behaving Badly (1989): 1 out of 10: I have a very high tolerance for cinematic pain. I’m willing to sit through almost anything. Heck forget Jar Jar Binks that’s child’s play, forget some undubbed Japanese ghost story sans subtitles simple cakewalk, forget some sixties experimental film feature two characters in a white room for six hours I will take two.

Behaving Badly broke me.

I kept watching all the way through and it kept getting worse. I like Judi Dench but she is unwatchable in this. She plays a dowdy church mouse whose husband leaves her for a younger woman and decides to think for herself. The choices that she makes are insane and distinctly unfunny.

Ah, the pain. Joely Richardson as the younger husband stealing harlot suffers from theater acting disease common in BBC productions but it’s the grandmother/mother-in-law (Gwen Watford) that did me in. Gwen plays the most painfully irritating stereotype in television history. (Overbearing Jewish shrew that performs voodoo.) Oh, and the series features “kids” each banaler than the last. (The girl undergoing a nervous breakdown may send you to your own she is that contagious.)Why the kids are even in this series is beyond me. (A younger demographic perhaps?) They are a Real World episode gone horribly wrong. Why is there a black American preacher/love interest? Why would anyone steal Judi Dench’s husband? (He is such a wimpy cad and come with more baggage than the Howell’s on Gilligan’s Island.)In four episodes, there is not one laugh. There is only confusion and pain. It is like a Mike Leigh sitcom.

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