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"Catfight" Review




Netflix sent me an email that "a movie you may like" was now available. I'd never heard of Catfight, but looking at the trailer featuring Sandra Oh and Anne Heche beating the hell out of each other while clumsy class warfare antics raged around them seemed like it may have potential. A sampling of reviews were mixed, but what do critics know, right?

Sandra Oh is a rich man's wife with a sensitive artistic son and a bit of a drinking problem. Anne Heche is an angry lesbian artist whose work is confrontational and unmarketable. Their world's collide when Heche's partner, Alicia Silverstone (who at 40 looks like a less-haggard Drew Barrymore), force her to help cater water an event where they run into each other and learn they were college classmates. It all culminates in them getting into a brawl which leaves Oh bloodied and unconscious at the bottom of the stairs.

She comes out of her coma two years later finding her husband and son both dead and her money gone. Her former housekeeper takes her in and she's reduced to working for a living as a hotel maid where she discovers that Heche has become quite the hot artist as her work has found favor during the latest Middle East war that has raged while Oh slept. (The way they use a terrible late night talk show to ladle in these details is typical of the clumsy script.)

Enraged that Heche has seemingly traded places with her, Oh hunts her down at a gallery opening and a rematch ensues and that's where Catfight's simplistic structure becomes depressingly evident. You can more or less predict how the last third will play out and when it finally happens, it ends in another meaningless brawl with an ending that's even more unsatisfactory.

Despite the trite script, Sandra Oh gives a nicely layered performance, but Heche and Silverstone don't have much depth to their characters. The script is nowhere as incisive or insightful as it imagines itself, but their are a few flashes of satiric teeth, particularly in a baby shower scene in which Silverstone craps on every gift given. However, a mediocre episode of Girls has three times the laughs and insight in a third of the time, albeit with the risk of Lena Dunham inflicting her body on the audience.

Score: 3/10. Skip it.

 
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