Okay...a long time ago, I bought the version with Roseanne and Meryl Streep and watched it, thinking it was really funny. When I saw that it was based on the book "The Life and Loves of a She-Devil", I ended up looking up the title on IMDb just to see if it was ever adapted into another version. Sure enough, it was...but it was pretty much impossible to get! Well, it was recently released in Britain on DVD and I found the Region 1 on eBay (which is probably one of the most rare items in God's green Earth). So, I watched it. I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY.
Yes, in the Roseanne version, I thought that she had pretty mean revenge. But when I viewed this adaptation of the same...not story, as the similarities end once the characters are introduced and she does about 3 of the same things she did in this version. But anyway, in this one, her revenge is probably some of the cruelest, meanest, hardcore revenge I've ever seen. However, this wasn't at all a comedy like the other one. There were a few darkly comedic elements, like the mother ending up staying with Mary in her house, but she takes on many different disguises to get what she wants and what she does becomes increasingly weirder and more frightening, until eventually she takes a HUGE step and mutilates herself in one of the most elaborate ways imaginable! She finds a way to get surgery to transform herself into her enemy, Mary Fisher. So she goes, get's the face surgery and the liposuction and such (normal) but then she goes and gets like a foot taken off of her legs, crippling her for life and forcing her to be on blood thinners to make sure her blood doesn't clot and kill her! All of this is absent from the now mediocre-seeming Roseanne version. If you want a light-hearted comedy with a clear message, go and see that one. But if you want a rich, dark, deep story with disturbing underlying messages, seek out this one. You WON'T be sorry.