A gentle romantic comedy with a distinct 1940s flavor, The Butcher’s Wife is blessed with a fine cast working from a storybook plot. The unpretentious and simple film has a ‘make ’em weep like they used to’ quality. Its belief in modern-day magic (in a sense similar to Moonstruck) softens an inherent predictability dictating that all loose ends be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction in 100 minutes.
Demi Moore plays a country clairvoyant whose visions of romance are answered in the surprising form of a New York butcher (George Dzundza) whom she marries immediately, returning with him to his neighborhood. Her visions immediately start to touch all those who cross her path, in the process increasingly nettling the local psychologist (Jeff Daniels), whose patients seem to need him far less as they bathe in the comfort of Moore’s future gazing.
Those who encounter Moore include the shrink’s girlfriend (Margaret Colin), a dowdy patient (Mary Steenburgen) with aspirations to sing the blues, and lesbian friend (Frances McDormand), who’s told romance waits just around the corner.
Helmer Terry Hughes, a TV director, and first-time screenwriters bring a fresh, uncynical eye to familiar terrain. Pic’s only real revelation is Steenburgen, not for her considerable acting skills, but for her fine voice in a trio of bluesy ballads.