She-Devil (film)

She-Devil (film)

name = She-Devil

caption =
director = Susan Seidelman
producer = Jonathan Brett
Susan Seidelman
writer = Barry Strugatz
Mark R. Burns from the novel The Life and Loves of a She-Devil by Fay Weldon
starring = Meryl Streep
Roseanne Barr
music = Howard Shore
cinematography = Oliver Stapleton
editing = Craig McKay
distributor = Orion Pictures
released = December 8, 1989
runtime = 99 minutes [IMDb 0098309.]
language =
budget =
imdb_id =0098309

"She-Devil" is a 1989 film starring Meryl Streep and Roseanne Barr. It was directed by Susan Seidelman. It is the second adaptation of the novel "The Life and Loves of a She-Devil" by British writer Fay Weldon, after a BBC TV adaptation was first broadcast in 1986.


Ruth (Barr) is a frumpy, overweight wife and mother as well, who tries to please her husband. Her husband Bob (Ed Begley, Jr.) is an accountant who is trying to boost his business, meets Mary Fisher (Streep), a romance novelist riding high on her fame and fortune, at a dinner party and begins to originate an affair with her. When Ruth displays much clumsiness, while Bob's parents are visiting, Bob uses that as an announcement that he is deserting her. As he is packing his bags and Babbage, he explains to Ruth that his assets are his home, his family, his career, and his freedom, but Ruth is a liability. Ruth vows to get revenge on him, as well as Mary when she says to herself "I hope Mary Fisher's pink palace crumbles and falls right into the sea". Ruth writes a list to herself titled "Bob's Assets" and lists the four assets that Bob has stated, and will cross off each one from the list when it is destroyed. While he is at work and the children are at school, she sets the house on fire (by overloading the electricity of the house by doing every possibly unsafe task with the household appliances) and it is obliterated in a gigantic explosion. She considers that the easiest asset she took away from Bob, and is not suspected of arson (as she lives in a neighborhood where people long suspected one of the foundation homes there would blow up). She drops the children off with Bob (now living with Mary) and does not see him again until much later. However, she is still working behind the scenes to destroy Bob's remaining assets. It is seen now that the second of Bob's assets, his family, is being destroyed as well, as the selfish Mary is inexperienced in raising children and seems unwilling to learn how to be a mother, which causes tension in her relationship with Bob.

Ruth takes a job at a nursing home under the pseudonym Vesta Rose. There she befriends Mary's estranged mother and arranges for the mother to return to Mary's life at a very inopportune moment. She also meets Nurse Hooper (Linda Hunt), a woman who has worked for the nursing home for 22 years and put aside her earnings for a considerable life savings. With Nurse Hooper's savings, Ruth partners with her and both decide to start an employment agency for women who need a second chance. The employment agency is a success, and women who Ruth has helped assist her in getting revenge on Bob. Mary has written a new novel on her romance with Bob titled "Love in the Rinse Cycle", which her publisher considers strange and off putting, as there is a chapter about doing laundry and the protagonist's name is Bob; which is an odd name for romantic heroes. An attractive young woman applies to Ruth's agency, who gets her a job as a secretary for Bob (and he soon starts cheating on Mary with her in a line of other beauties Bob has been sleeping with, giving Mary a taste of her own medicine). Highly skilled with administrative tasks, the secretary (who is soon dumped by Bob for telling him that she loves him) reveals to Ruth that Bob is guilty of embezzlement, by skimming the interest off his client's accounts and transferring funds to his private overseas account in Switzerland, and Ruth works to expose this to his superiors (as well as to the police); getting him terminated; thus destroying his third asset of career. Mary's career is going downhill as well, as she is being interviewed for a puff piece by People Magazine, her mother reveals embarrassing secrets about Mary to the reporter like a child given up for adoption, which is then put in a future issue of People as "Dethroning the Queen of Romance". Bob throws a party for Mary to cheer her up, which is going well until the atmosphere is shattered when state troopers appear with a warrant for Bob's arrest. Bob's lawyer attempts to make a secret deal with a judge and blame the embezzlement on a computer bug, and unknowingly informs Mary that Bob stole a lot from her account. Mary later tells Bob that she is leaving him, in which Bob now has realized what he did to Ruth has happened to him and that he has ended up with nothing because of his sinfulness. A woman who gained employment thanks to Ruth's agency as a court clerk pays Ruth back by reassigning Bob's case to an unbiased judge, thus removing the backhanded deal Bob and his lawyer planned. Bob is then convicted of embezzlement and sent to prison, thus destroying his fourth and final asset, his freedom. Meanwhile, Mary's novel fails but Ruth's business thrives. The story ends with the reunited family visiting Bob in prison, who has been greatly reformed and says he will soon be released from prison, after which he is looking forward to spending more time with Ruth and the children. Ruth ends by saying she does believe a person can repent as has Bob, but not everyone, as the final scene shows Ruth at a book signing for Mary's new novel(in which she tells all about her affair). Ruth asks Mary to make her autograph out to her, which she happily does and right after, does a double take at Ruth who might be familiar before Ruth walks off. Next in line behind Ruth is a man whom Mary clearly tries to become more personal with, indicating she has not changed her ways.The film ends with Ruth, a smile on her face as she walks down a busy street in Manhattan, accompanied by the women from her firm.


The following are cast members and roles::* Meryl Streep .... Mary Fisher :* Roseanne .... Ruth Patchett (as Roseanne Barr) :* Ed Begley Jr. .... Bob :* Linda Hunt .... Hooper :* Sylvia Miles .... Mrs. Fisher :* Elisebeth Peters .... Nicolette Patchett :* Bryan Larkin .... Andy Patchett :* A Martinez .... Garcia :* Maria Pitillo .... Olivia Honey :* Mary Louise Wilson .... Mrs. Trumper :* Susan Willis .... Ute :* Jack Gilpin .... Larry :* Robin Leach .... Himself :* Nitchie Barrett .... Bob's Secretary :* June Gable .... Realtor There were others in the film, as well.


The film "She-Devil" received an unfavorable 4.5/10 "fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Readers at IMDb voted an average rating of 4.5/10 in 4,517 votes.

he-Devil in popular culture

A 1989 issue of MAD Magazine was spoofing movie reviews, in which "She-Devil" was one of them. The commentary said that "the producers went out of their way for uglification. Roseanne has a huge black mole on her cheek, as if the film was trying to convince the audience she was unattractive next to Meryl". The drawing shows an exploded house and a shocked Ed Begley Jr. and Meryl Streep demanding an explanation from Roseanne:Meryl: "You have blown up your husband's house, estranged his kids, and worked to ruin him! Why are you doing this?"
Roseanne: "Well, two women in my group therapy suggested it to me."
Meryl: "Who?!"
Roseanne: "Kathleen Turner and Glenn Close!"

*The mention of Close and Turner were references to Fatal Attraction and War of the Roses.

The BBC TV version was somewhat different than the film. In the British version Ruth was also unattractive and overweight, but she began her revenge only after extensive efforts to keep her husband to herself; such as intensive exercise and plastic surgery in an effort to make herself more attractive like Mary. The American film had more subtle changes to Ruth's appearance, as it shows her going from a frumpy housewife to a self-confident business owner. Ruth trades in her glasses for contacts, has minor plastic surgery to remove her mole, and gets a trendier hairstyle and starts to wear more fashionable clothes.

ee also

* Comedy film "Postcards from the Edge".



* IMDb entry id: 0098309.

External links

* "She-Devil" at Rotten Tomatoes, webpage: [ RTom-shedevil] .
* IMDb entry id: 0098309, webpage: [ IMDb-098309] .

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