Review: ‘The Incredible Shrinking Woman’

Story of a contemporary housewife whose consistent use of chemically injected brand name foods, soap powders and aerosol-propelled products causes her to shrink to miniscule proportions is often strangely humorous with an underlying note of scathing social satire.

Story of a contemporary housewife whose consistent use of chemically injected brand name foods, soap powders and aerosol-propelled products causes her to shrink to miniscule proportions is often strangely humorous with an underlying note of scathing social satire.

Director Joel Schumacher and writer-exec producer Jane Wagner have done a commendable job of creating a portrait of life in Anywhere USA where the tireless wife-mother (Lily Tomlin) must run a household, referee screaming kids and spruce up for her hard-working husband by the time evening rolls around.

Unfortunately, even Tomlin’s talents begin to wear thin two-thirds into the film when she’s kidnapped by baddies who want to use her to formulate a serum that will reduce the size of anyone in their way.

In supporting roles, ad exec hubby Charles Grodin (who perpetuates the very products that brought Tomlin to her unfortunate circumstance) and his boss Ned Beatty are first-rate. Problem is the premise just tires prematurely.

The Incredible Shrinking Woman

Production

Universal. Director Joel Schumacher; Producer Hank Moonjean; Screenplay Jane Wagner; Camera Bruce Logan; Editor Jeff Gourson; Music Suzanne Ciani; Art Director Raymond A. Brandt

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1981. Running time: 88 MIN.

With

Lily Tomlin Charles Grodin Ned Beatty Henry Gibson Maria Smith Mark Blankfield
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