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Saturday, September 17, 2005

"Made-Up" Now on DVD

Emmy-winner Tony Shalhoub ("Monk") makes an impressive directorial debut with “Made-Up,” now available on DVD at Amazon.com. This hilarious movie is a film adaptation of “Two Faced,” a play written by his sister-in-law Lynne Adams. Adams also wrote the witty screenplay, served as producer, and portrays one of the film’s main characters -- a woman who persuades her sister to be the subject of a student film project.

In this terrific movie, a teenage wannabe cosmetologist (played with delightful enthusiasm by Eva Amurri, Susan Sarandon’s daughter) does an elaborate make-over on her mother Elizabeth (Brooke Adams). The complicated "beautifying" process includes a tape-on facelift, eye tucks, and a wig. Elizabeth’s sister (Lynne Adams) documents the transformation for a video class she’s taking. Shalhoub also has a key role here. He plays the confused new guy in Elizabeth’s life.

"Made-Up" is truly a family labor of love. Sisters in real life, Brooke ("Days of Heaven") and Lynne must have a keen understanding of the inevitable differences among siblings -- for it shows in their believable performances. I also found Brooke and Shalhoub, who are married off-screen, to be an intriguing on-screen couple. They complement each other in both dramatic and comic situations. Shalhoub projects an endearing befuddlement over his character's relationship with an unusual woman, and Brooke reminds me of the great Lucille Ball, particularly in a sidesplitting sequence where Elizabeth gets a bit tipsy to "loosen up" before filming begins.

I absolutely loved this movie! It’s an entertaining and thoughtful treatment of issues relating to beauty, aging and family. Unfortunately, although honored at various film festivals, “Made-Up” received limited release. Now that it’s out on DVD, everyone can enjoy it.

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