Premiere - 09/01/2000
"...A lot of delightful weirdness....Fruit-loopy performances..." -- 3 out of 5 stars
Director Nick Gomez is known for gritty urban street tales like LAWS OF GRAVITY and NEW JERSEY DRIVE. So while the subject matter of DROWNING MONA isn't necessarily a departure, the film's farcical tone certainly is. During the opening credits, the despicable Mona Dearly (Bette Midler) is seen driving her Yugo into the Hudson River. This sets off an investigation headed up by Chief Rash (Danny DeVito), who quickly determines that Mona was murdered. Now his problem is that everyone who knew the woman is a possible suspect. Her self-described battered husband, Phil (William Fichtner), her unnaturally dumb son, Jeff (Marcus Thomas), and her son's much-abused, good-natured landscaping partner, Bobby Calzone (Casey Affleck) all have motives. Complicating matters, Phil and Jeff were both having an affair with the same waitress (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Bobby is engaged to Chief Rash's lovely daughter, Ellen (Neve Campbell). The comedy has its dark moments--there is a grisly running joke about how Jeff lost his hand--but the energetic cast, the film's colorful palette, and quick pacing help make the film quirky fun.
Murder Investigations |
Small Town Life |
Theatrical release: March 3, 2000.
Casey Affleck (Bobby Calzone) is the brother of actor Ben Affleck.
Actor Michael Rappaport (who starred in Gomez's ILLTOWN) is thanked in the films closing credits.
"Mona Dearly" is an anagram for "Only a dream."
Actor Peter Dobson (Feege) played Elvis Presley in FORREST GUMP and Joe DiMaggio in NORMA JEAN AND MARILYN.
Producer Al Corley played Steven Carrington on the first season of the television series, DYNASTY. He also worked as a doorman at Studio 54.
Actor Paul Schulze (Jimmy D.) made his feature film debut in Gomez's LAWS OF GRAVITY. He also played Father Phil on THE SOPRANOS.