Drowning Mona

A sleepy, small town is awakened by a murder investigation when town bully Mona Dearly (Bette Midler, Isn’t She Great?) winds up floating in the Hudson River, and all of her associates are suspects. The film’s running gag is that everyone in the town — even the police — drives a Yugo. But the gag grows old, and there isn’t enough comedy to carry the film, which crashes as fast as Mona’s Yugo does into the river. The car theme is familiar territory for Nick Gomez, who also directed the dreadful 1995 film New Jersey Drive. Gomez’s weakness as a director is his inability to develop characters, and the cast members of Drowning Mona are one-dimensional stiffs. Midler is embarrassingly over the top in every scene in which she appears; Neve Campbell (Scream 3) effects a bad hillbilly accent throughout; and Danny DeVito (L.A. Confidential) and Jamie Lee Curtis (Love Letters), who usually add credibility, can’t overcome the poorly written screenplay. The trailer-park tale offers nothing more than foul language, trashy dialogue, and lowbrow slapstick humor — crude expressions of comedy at its worst. (PG-13) Rating: 3

Categories: Movies