Even more so than in her first movie starring as Martha Stewart, I though Cybill Shepherd did a wonderful job of capturing the 'domestic diva'. There were a couple of times at the beginning and once at the very end when I saw Shepherd, not Martha. But Shepherd has a distinctive smile. This time, the hair and makeup made it clear we were supposed to see Martha, and Shepherd definitely spoke the way Martha does.
Shepherd captured the 'TV Martha' perfectly. For nearly a year Martha's show preceded reruns of 'Bewitched' where I live, and several years later Martha came on before Carol Burnett reruns. And while I despised Martha at one time, turning on the TV early helped me to like her better, even if I never wanted to watch an entire episode of her show. And it was this Martha that Shepherd really did best. Only a few times did we see the evil (rhymes with witch) from the first movie, and that was okay.
The movie opened with a guard asking Martha to come with her, and then through flashbacks we went back to when her company went public. Soon after that came the terrible day when, to me, it didn't look like Martha did anything so wrong, but then she was acting on information not available to the general public.
Later, it seemed that Martha could have come clean, but she wanted to cover up what she had done. Only then did I perceive her as guilty of anything. Still, based on the events dramatized rather than other information we were shown being told to the jury, I wouldn't have thought she should have gotten in quite so much trouble. The movie didn't go overboard in making Martha look guilty the way the prosecution did. The attorneys for both sides did effective jobs. And all the while, Martha's fans were shown as supporting her no matter what.
Prison looked like real prison, not a country club, though there weren't actual bars in her 'cell'. The other prisoners seemed like they belonged in real prison, and it would be easy to wonder how this spoiled princess was going to make it, especially the way she was being treated. Of course, she did complain but never acted like a (rhymes with witch). Amazingly, Martha did make friends, and most of the prisoners turned out to be just like people on the outside. I especially liked this one woman with long brown hair who was knitting or crocheting. Prison was actually funny at times, and the background music reflected this. One of the best moments came when they decorated for Christmas--and something truly ironic took place that I just can't mention.
One thing I found quite annoying about the movie was the way we were told who people were. It was useful for us to see the names of characters and their significance, but this was accompanied by freezing the film and an annoying sound effect sort of like a prison door being slammed shut.
I did like the music in the prison dining room the first time Martha ate a meal there. Anyone who knows my musical taste can take this to mean most of those women probably weren't too pleased with it, but then like with anything else in prison, they just had to adjust. There was nice music at Christmas, including a guitar version of 'Angels We Have heard On High' which was sort of traditional.
This was really worth seeing, and unlike the first movie, it managed to make Martha look positive most of the time.