Imagine you could become immortal. You would never worry about aging or death - you would stay young and beautiful forever, and you would be in good company. The only catch is that after ten years, you would have to "disappear" in order to uphold The Masquerade. Now imagine that your biggest romantic rival has already taken this step.Oh, and a warning: you will need to take very good care of your body, because you will be using it for a very long time...Death Becomes Her is a 1992 dark comedy directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Goldie Hawn, Meryl Streep, and Bruce Willis. It won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
For Madeline: "Cheap!" Madeline had already had the upper hand on Ernest - had she ignored his "Cheap!" remark, she'd have never fallen down the stairs.
Betty and Veronica: Helen, a shy, timid Betty in the beginning of the movie, is desperately afraid her fiance Ernest will fall for Madeline, her childhood friend, who is a flashy actress and definite Veronica. Depending on how you define the roles, though, they become less distinct after the first fifteen minutes of the movie.
Blessed with Suck: Shortly after finding out about each other's immortality, Helen and Madeline try to kill each other. They don't die, but their bodies do, and they are stuck in their broken, battered corpses for (it is implied) eternity. They use undertaking techniques just to keep themselves looking and moving like real people - but then their bodies simply fall apart.
The Cameo: Sydney Pollack is the first doctor Madeline sees post-stairs accident.
Chekhov's Gun: Ernest is seen trying to throw scalpels at a dartboard early in the film. He does poorly, presumably due to the years of alcoholism giving him shaky hands. Later on, after having one of his hands rejuvenated to display the powers of the potion, he throws a knife with perfect accuracy just when he needs to.
Crapsack World: Debatable: On one hand, appearance is everything and undeath is preferable to aging. On the other hand, Ernest achieved recognition and popularity in his twilight years due to his charity and achieved immortality that way.
Did You Get a New Haircut?: Played straight. After Madeline has drunk a potion giving her eternal youth and beauty, her husband Ernest asks, "Change your hair?"
Elvis Has Left The Planet / Elvis Lives: The King is one of several famous people who took the immortality potion and faked his own death. He makes appearances from time to time to grab a few headlines.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Lisle and company are genuinely puzzled when Ernest refuses the potion. They are too self-centered and shallow to care about the reasons he has for not wanting to be immortal.
Fanservice: Lisle. And her boyfriends/bodyguards. "Keep your ass handy."
Michelle Johnson in one scene, before her boss shows up to refer Mad to Liesl.
Fat Suit. Hawn donned one for a segment. She never let her children see her wearing it, reportedly, because it scared them.
Femme Fatale: Both Madeline and Helen, but Helen really plays it up.
Helen: You're a powerful sexual being, Ernest.
Ernest: I am?
Helen: Yes, you are. If I never told you before, it was because I wasn't the sort of girl who could say the word "sexual" without blushing. Well I can now. Sexual... sensual... sexy... sex... sex... sex...
Soft Water: Ernest's swan dive off the top of a huge mansion, through a stained-glass skylight, and into an indoor pool leaves him with only a nasty-looking cut on his arm.
Possibly justified — he hits the basically flat skylight flat on his back which would minimize immediate cuts and the window breaking would reduce the force of that impact considerably while still slowing down his speed enough to keep the water from killing him on second impact.
In the first draft, Ernest was supposed to die in the fall, with the movie ending at his funeral.
Springtime for Hitler: Although Madeline's musical performance is mostly hated, it is precisely then that Ernest falls in love with her.