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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Martha, Inc. (review)

Meee-owww! It’s the rise and fall of Martha Stewart from a manipulative little kid, crushing her 8-year-old competition at the bake fair, to a grabby, greedy, calculating Terminator, the boss from hell who’s rude to her fans, worse to her staff, and an absolute bitch with her friends and family. Cybill Shepherd throws herself into the domestic diva with a hammy, scenery-chewing panache, throwing tantrums over merlot and low-thread-count K-Mart sheets, in a performance on a par with Faye Dunaway’s Joan Crawford, but that’s nothing to the catty glee with which director Jason Ensler and writer Suzette Couture take their snipes, as when they cut from Stewart’s $85 million buyout of Time Warner contract that shocked her executive bosses to her literally cracking nuts for a recipe on her TV show. Hardly a sympathetic portrayal by any measure, this made-for-TV flick does have heart enough to wonder whether Stewart really deserves the dragging through the mud — and the courts — she’s getting now, over her ill-timed stock trades. This is an instant camp classic.

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MPAA: rated PG

viewed at home on a small screen

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