Making the Grades
If the Energizer Bunny were to become a person, I'm convinced it would be Fran Drescher. Drescher seems to move from TV comedy (The Nanny), to talk show, and now to cinema, just like the bunny who pounds his drum through one commercial after the next, oblivious to the goings on around him.
Here we meet the same character, this time named Joy Miller, a beautician instructor with as much ?poof? inside her head as on top. When Miller saves some rodents during a fire at the school where she teaches, she is hailed a hero. The front page hoopla conveniently draws the attention of a foreign diplomat from Solvetzia who is seeking a tutor for the children of Boris Pochenko (Timothy Dalton), the ruler of a tiny fictitious country. Somehow he neglects to ask what it was that Miller taught.
In keeping with this tired and true plot line, Pochenko is an impenetrable dictator. Nothing can stand in his way. That is except for Drescher la Miller, who traipses through his castle and life like a ... well ... a runaway battery operated bunny. While even the most patient tyrant would want to send this gal to the torture chamber, Pochenko miraculously does the classic personality turn around as she helps him become more human. (Was it her charm or overstretched wardrobe?) They start small -- like learning how to say ?Hello? to peasants.
Beautician is a second rate retread of such classics as The Sound Of Music, My Fair Lady, and The King And I. It never rises to the caliber of these films because the script ignores the consequences that would be brought about by its characters' actions. As simplistic as these other films seem on the surface, each one contains a death or major sacrifice to allow the audience to believe the situation. Finally, Drescher just doesn't glow like Andrews, Hepburn, or Kerr.
If you watch this movie with your children, ask them what still needs to happen after the happy ending. Chances are even Drescher's batteries will need a recharge.