Television, Movie and Play Reviews

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

TO DIE FOR starring Nicole Kidman is being touted as a comedy. A lot of the people in the audience thought it was based upon a true crime incident. It is based upon a book--written by Joyce Maynard--but it's only make believe. Although, I think in the past couple of years there have been at least three cases where a teen- ager has been seduced by an older woman (in one case a high school teacher, if I remember correctly) and coerced into killing her husband.

A crime is involved (murder) but this is not really a crime story.

Nicole Kidman is outstanding in her role as Suzanne Stone. She plays a woman who believes you aren't anyone unless you're on TV and she sets out to make her dream of being the next Barbara Walters or Connie Chung a reality. And when things get in her way, like her husband (Matt Dillon), she quickly calculates a way to remove the obstacle.

Amazingly, the secondary characters are outstanding. George Segal fits the sleazy role assigned to him, perfectly. And the roles of James (Joaquin Phoenix) and Lydia (Alison Folland) are so well cast, that the audience feels a sense of sadness at the way Nicole Kidman's character manipulates them.

This movie is wickedly funny. Although many in our audience didn't see the humor since they thought they were watching something else entirely.

The script was written by Buck Henry, directed by Gus Van Sant.

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