15 February 2002 | Cheetah-6
Triumph For Fisher
Great performances by Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine. They are both hilarious and poignant in this Carrie Fisher story about a show business daughter coming through the process of working out emotional trauma and baggage in relation to her mother, upbringing and subsequent addiction problems. Also especially good is Gene Hackman in a small supporting role and a cameo by Rob Reiner. Streep and MacLaine carry this film with their talents and are very entertaining as they confront each other and themselves about personal flaws and foibles. What makes this work so well is the smart and oblique humor that is employed to address the internal pain of the main character. I also liked the little jabs at the movie industry itself as well as its nonchalant way of revealing some of it's visual tricks too.
One particular touching and bittersweet scene is between Hackman (as movie director) as he comforts Streep (an actress he's working with) with a sort of lighthearted understanding and encouragement to overcome her drug addiction as he builds her up with appreciation of her talent.
Considering the obvious autobiographical nature of this story for Fisher, it would appear to be sort of a catharsis for her. She does a good job in bringing painful personal issues to light with humor through her writing. Personal pain and demons often seem to be the source of great art and entertainment as well as amusement for many artists and through their art, for the rest of us as well. This is a case in point and definitely worth the time.