--Special thanks to My New Plaid Pants for the inspiration.
Cathy Moriarty in Soapdish - Supporting Actress Snapshot
The character of Montana Moorehead in Soapdish -- the oddly off-pitch 1991 spoof of television soap operas -- has to be one of the coolest examples of pure camp genius sneaking into a mainstream pic. And off at the edges, Cathy Moriarty just does Ms. Montana (over the top, into the ground, up to the heavens) in a way that probably no other actress ever could. Moriarty's Montana is, all at once, an apparently "talent-free" soap actress, a vicious manipulative schemer, and an enigmatic erotic powerhouse with -- ahem -- a bit of a secret. As Moriarty's Montana bullies Robert Downey Jr. into delighted erotic submission while also plotting her misguided career-vaunting revenge, Moriarity uses her tough girl persona to assure one and all that Montana's got the biggest balls of any bitch on the set. Which'd be fun enough in any case, but this bitch's got a little something extra -- making for a high-farce character joke that really pays off. Loads. Indeed, in a film just crammed (almost to a one) with folks who were or would soon become some of Oscar's and Emmy's favorites, Moriarty's performance as Montana Moorehead stands out as the only truly great turn in the bunch. Somehow, Moriarty's Montana maintains all the edges, keeping things just close enough to a truly human horror while never becoming mean-spirited. It's a smart, savagely funny and surprisingly humane performance of an almost lethally tricky role. As a result, every time Lu gets caught in the bizarrely entrancing vortex of this film, the potentially humiliating narrative twists that befall Moriarty's Montana inspire StinkyLulu's empathy, curiosity and fascination all the more.... And, while few movies deserve a sequel less than Soapdish, if 'twere "The Montana Moorehead Story starring Cathy Moriarty"? Well, that'd be a ticket worth stealing.