Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

In Home Fries, Drew Barrymore plays a fast-food cashier who's eight months pregnant with a married man's baby. Luke Wilson (Bottle Rocket) is the married man's stepson and the baby's future uncle, but he wishes to be the father, which displeases his scorned mother (Catherine O'Hara), who would rather see her other, deranged son (Jake Busey) kill Barrymore before becoming her husband's mistress' mother-in-law. The rest of the movie gets confusing. Why, for instance, would an old drunkard, after holding a burger joint full of children hostage with a shotgun, be released to wife Shelley Duvall the same day? How is it possible for two National Guardsmen to accidentally murder their philandering stepdad by stalking him with a black helicopter and inducing a heart attack? What does the title Home Fries have to do with anything? There are no good answers to these questions, of course, because the film is set in the sort of magical postmodern hick town that eschews logic, the same town that allowed Clay Pigeons to continue past its first scene. Veering wildly from macabre Southern Gothic to quirky small-town romance, Home Fries is too busy cross-pollinating genres to bother with consistent behavior and tone; the strung-out O'Hara, in particular, never seems the same from one scene to the next. After The Wedding Singer and Ever After, the overrated Barrymore, looking as programmatically sunny as ever in a springy red wig, continues to rival Courtney Love in calculated image-making. She's no match for Wilson, whose main expression—furrowing his brow like he can't quite figure out what's going on—is awfully identifiable.

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