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THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING WOMAN - Awfully Good Movies (1981) Lily Tomlin

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07.05.2018

THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING WOMAN - Awfully Good Movies (1981) Lily Tomlin

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With this weekend marking Marvel’s final blockbuster of the year as Evangeline Lilly suits up and shrinks down alongside Paul Rudd in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, Awfully Good Movies is blooming from one “Lilly” to another, as Lily Tomlin shrinks to miniscule proportions as THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING WOMAN! Less than a month after she dominated the box office with 9 TO 5, Lily Tomlin played the title role in this gender-swapped comedic remake of Richard Matheson’s 1957 sci-fi classic THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, about a hapless man who accidentally breathes in a radioactive cloud and induces a gradual genetic shrinkage of his height that he’s increasingly desperate to stop before he shrinks off the face of the universe. And with Lily Tomlin working from a script from her creative and romantic partner Jane Wagner, as well as playing the Shrinking Woman’s religiously devout neighbor in a dual role, there’s surely no reason that Tomlin can’t finally have an appropriate cinematic showcase for her twisted and socially satirical sense of humor here--like Steve Martin had with THE JERK, for example. But with John Landis kicked out of the director’s chair a few days into production over budget issues, the movie now marks the directorial debut of Landis’ replacement: the one and only Joel Schumacher. Yes, much like how Batman himself had to begin by training in the Himalayas alongside Ra’s al Ghul, Schumacher had to start somewhere to develop those loud and ugly visual sensibilities of his that would soon bury the Batman franchise in a mess of neon lights and Schwarzenegger ice puns. Still, you can’t say that the man makes a boring bad movie, and just wait until the third act when Schumacher teams Lily Tomlin up with a sign-language speaking caged gorilla as played by seven-time Oscar winner and movie makeup legend Rick Baker. Plus, with Tomlin working alongside such delightful comedy character actors as Charles Grodin, Ned Beatty and the late great Henry Gibson, it’s an Awfully Good Movie that isn’t without a lot of good in it. Now stay tuned for next week’s review of another sci-fi parody that stars one or more cast members from 9 TO 5, as Lily Tomlin reteams again with Jane Fonda in THE AMAZING COLOSSAL GRACE & FRANKIE.

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