Review: ‘Boxing Helena’

Feature debut of 24-year-old writer-director Jennifer Lynch (daughter of David) offers up Julian Sands as a top surgeon who has had a one-night stand with stunning neighbor Sherilyn Fenn and now can't get the voluptuous sexpot out of his mind.

Feature debut of 24-year-old writer-director Jennifer Lynch (daughter of David) offers up Julian Sands as a top surgeon who has had a one-night stand with stunning neighbor Sherilyn Fenn and now can’t get the voluptuous sexpot out of his mind.

Bitchy, condescending and cruel, Fenn tells Sands in a hundred different ways to get lost, until a horrible accident deprives her of her legs and places her forever in the sick doctor’s hands.

Remainder of the warped story [by Philippe Caland] plays on the notion of whether one person can force another to love him through cumulative dependence, time and the force of his own love. Fenn remains defiantly belligerent even through Sands’ unnecessary removal of her arms. The numerous sex scenes are good and steamy.

It’s probably just as well that last-minute dropouts Kim Basinger or Madonna didn’t take the title role, as the presence of a star lurking powerlessly on the little platform no doubt would have been distracting and more laughable than it now, on occasion, is. But the thesps give it all the overheated conviction they can muster.

Boxing Helena

Production

Main Line. Director Jennifer Chambers Lynch; Producer Philippe Caland, Carl Mazzocone; Screenplay Jennifer Chambers Lynch; Camera Frank Byers; Editor David Finfer; Music Graeme Revell; Art Director Paul Huggins

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1993. Running time: 107 MIN.

With

Julian Sands Sherilyn Fenn Bill Paxton Kurtwood Smith Betsy Clark Nicolette Scorsese
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