Die Mommie Die Intentional camp tends to weigh down the screen like soggy fruitcake, so one can be forgiven for cringing at the prospect of Die Mommie Die!… Die Mommie Die Intentional camp tends to weigh down the screen like soggy fruitcake, so one can be forgiven for cringing at the prospect of Die Mommie Die!… 2003-10-31 R PT90M Comedy Philip Baker Hall Jason Priestley Frances Conroy Natasha Lyonne
Movie Review

Die Mommie Die! (2003)

MPAA Rating: R
Charles Busch, Die Mommie Die | WHAT A DRAG Busch (center) gets wiggy with it in a damp bit of cross-dressing camp
WHAT A DRAG Busch (center) gets wiggy with it in a damp bit of cross-dressing camp
EW's GRADE
B-

Details Limited Release: Oct 31, 2003; Rated: R; Length: 90 Minutes; Genre: Comedy; With: Philip Baker Hall and Jason Priestley

Intentional camp tends to weigh down the screen like soggy fruitcake, so one can be forgiven for cringing at the prospect of Die Mommie Die! It's based on a play by its star, Charles Busch, who puts on a frowsy brunet wig to play Angela Arden, a fallen '50s pop diva who presides over a family of warring hysterics.

At first, the chintzy, lavishly layered fusion of ''Mildred Pierce,'' ''All That Heaven Allows,'' and ''What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?'' makes you think you've wandered into Mel Brooks' ''Far From Heaven.'' Busch, looking like a depressed Stockard Channing, throws his tantrums with breathy ''aristocratic'' hauteur. Yet the movie winds up walking a line between put-on pastiche and kitsch passion, and Jason Priestley is perfect as a brooding lunkhead of Tab Hunter gigolo-osity.

Originally posted Oct 29, 2003 Published in issue #736 Nov 07, 2003 Order article reprints