Mary Reilly

Toilet Paper



Release Date: February 23, 1996
Runtime: 108 minutes (100 minutes too long)
Rating: R
Studio: TriStar Pictures (Sony)
Director: Stephen Frears
Cast: Julia Roberts; John Malkovich; Glenn Close; George Cole; Michael Sheen

I like Julia Roberts.  I really do.  I’ve been a fan ever since “Satisfaction.”  But please, Julia, for the love of God, don’t do period movies!!!  It’s not your strong suit.

This movie couldn’t be worse!  It’s boring, dreary, terribly miscast, and just plain bad.  Hardly worth my time to review it: just writing about it is making me angry.  It purports to tell the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from the point of view of one of his scullery maids.  Not a bad idea, but woe to the execution!!

First of all, John Malkovich.  Would it kill you to TRY??  Everyone else in the movie has an accent, whether it be English or Irish, but you sound like you’re from middle America.  It’s distracting and you come across as being bored, or at least too above the material to even attempt to get into a character.  Of course, your tired acting doesn’t help either.  Even Julia is attempting to create a character.  She doesn’t succeed, but she tries.  Only Glenn Close, mercilessly hamming it up as a madam friend of Jekyll’s, is worth watching.

This movie is all production design, nothing else.  The dark, dank alleyways of Victorian London, the kitchen in Jekyll’s mansion, his lab….all look great.  This is no surprise since the film was directed by Stephen Frears (the wonderful “Dangerous Liaisons”).  But so what?  You won’t get to appreciate the scenery because you’ll be sleeping after the first 20 minutes.  One of my least favorite movies!


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