In 1956 Roger Vadim created a masterpiece of gritty beauty and subtle elegance. His film ...And God Created Woman was a landmark film and one of the best roles for the incomparable Bridgette Bardot.Vadim went on to fuck and fuck over Jane Fonda. Add Blood and Roses, Barbarella and the impressive Fairie Tale Theater: Beauty and The Beast to his resume. But it would be his last film that he would ponder that universal question that never has easy answers. Can lightening strike twice? Could he helm a remake of his classic '56 film? Luckily for his he pursued this dream and brought us And God Created Woman (1988).
This time he would entrust this revision with the ample talents of Babs De Mornay. She is a constant favorite in the house of BadMovieArt. To compare the two films is like comparing a slow, dizzying night of red hot sex to dolphin rape. Both can be polarizing and just as worthy of an examination.
It all starts with a daring prison escape. Babs De Mornay has devised a fool prove plan. She jumps from the roof of the women's prison and lands on the top of a delivery truck. In a move that would have shattered every bone of an average gal on the go, Babs proves just how strong her armour is as she skirts away unnoticed and unharmed. Ah, Freedom! Miles away, she jumps from the moving truck and finds herself in the middle of the desert. Where, we have no idea? Nevada? Southern California? No clue. Yet. She then rips her shirt off and tosses it in the wind. Standing bare chested she turns to the camera and stares off toward the sky. The strange thing is that her face has been painted white. It seems that she somehow took a detour to the set of A Man Called Horse or some shit, but the scene got edited out. Anyway, she manages to flag down a limo, but finds herself heading back to the prison where the owner of the limo had left his briefcase. RATS! He sneaks her back in and states, "Wrong man, right car." Whatever that means.
Babs is determined to return to her cell, but she first stops off for a quick pony ride (see SWEET JUSTICE) with Vincent Spano, who is doing some construction at the prison. As they fuck, the prison warden wanders in, calling his name. She then shakes her head and says, "He isn't suppose to roaming around here alone!" With his red bandanna tied around his forehead and his skoal can outline on the left rear pocket of his Levi's, Spano is dreamboat material! I am officially on board with this film.
So, FIFTEEN MINUTES into the film, a lot has gone down. De Mornay then bust out her guitar and sings her hit new single "Break Down The Walls". Think "The Reach (Do The Reach)" from Valet Girls, but if sung by Lita Ford. She is accompanied by none other than one of my favorite divas, Thelma Houston as The Prison Singer. That is what the credits call her at least. They rock it out with a touch of funk, before the prison warden, "Sounds Like Shit!" . Disgruntled, but not dismayed, Babs hatches a plan to pay Spano five thousand WHOLE dollars to marry her so she can get patrolled. It seems that if someone wants to marry you, the state is a little more forgiving when it comes to patrol. I did not know this tidbits. See, And God Created Woman (1988) taught me something. I wasn't expecting that!
So with her banana clip firmly in place, she kisses her Jill Scott looking cellmate goodbye and the film morphs into Overboard. Spano and his clan are waiting outside the prison for his new bride. Family members include beret wearing Donovan Lietch who we learn can play a mean synthesizer (A CLUE!) and Spano's kid! The child immediately hates the former jailbird and voices his opinion. Babs, never one to be put off by a brat, lashes back and spits, "I finally got rid of my family, why would I want yours!"
So it is family living for Babs and just when you don't think Vincent Spano can get any hotter he does. he promptly chews his new wife out for not wanting to spend the night with him in his bed when she chooses the couch over him. He yells and hollers all while in just a tee shirt and underwear. SUPER HOT! This instantly caused a new fashion trend in my house, because it is a fact that yelling at people is more fun with no pants on.
Babs decides to pursue a music career, but ends up being told that she has a nice ass, but can't sing. Which is true. She tosses a grapefruit at the sleazy music producer and stomps out. Not one to give up so easily, she forms her own band with guess who? CLUES!
It is finally revealed that the film takes place in Santa Fe and completely shot on location. Nothing good comes out of Santa Fe (see the movie Santa Fe) and Spano eats a ton of Kettle Chips and has a family fight over hamburger meat. Babs solves all the problems though with a boom box, a picnic and SALSA! De Mornay practices A LOT with her band and says things like, "Shadow me on the bass" so we know she really is jamming. Having come to a cross roads in her life, she eats a bunch of Almost Home cookies (so symbolic) and smokes a bunch of cigarettes to help her make her decision. It comes to her though. She knows she must do it. Enter her no name band in a trashy country bar's talent show! It does not go well.
When the guy in the limo shows back up and offers her and her music one last chance at freedom, she goes into GIT IT GIRL mode, which means she sticks her butt in the air and acts super annoying to the rest of the cast. But in her last ditch effort for independence, she learns that freedom isn't always free.
What makes GOD CREATED WOMAN (1988) so special is that the pacing will make you crazy. it goes from prison drama to wack-a-doodle rom-com so fast you won't even know what happened until it does. You sit there stunned after jokes don't land and ask yourself, "Was that suppose to be funny?" Then right back into heavy handed drama to a musical.
It is refreshing to see a movie not really care if the audience can follow the plot. It allows you to make up your own storyline. Chances are yours will be more thought out than AND GOD CREATED WOMAN (1988) and involve less cocaine. But it won't be as sexy! Or as many stunts!