First thing’s first…
If you can’t market the costume as “Beetlejuice,” is it really worth doing it at all? No…ok. So back to the nostalgia. You might argue that Michael Keaton’s best role is playing everyone’s favorite superhero in 1989’s Batman and again in 1992 in Batman Returns, but I would argue that he would not be the greatest Batman (personally, I liked Val Kilmer for some reason. Don’t argue with me. I liked that movie.) if it were not for his role as the obnoxious, inappropriate, self-proclaimed “bio-exorcist.”
Beetlejuice is the twisted tale of two really sweet people who came together in a union only to die because of a dog who cared nothing about their wellbeing. They die but have no idea they’ve died until they notice some changes in the house they lived in together. This is when the fun begins.
What I never understood as a child, and still don’t understand as an adult, is why no one came to get them and explain that they were dead and what they were supposed to be doing. I am a spiritual person and I have often wondered what happens to me after I die. Watching Beetlejuice was a great visual possibility for me, even if it was just a movie. You see, bumbling idiots, like the Maitlands, have to figure out what their unfinished business is while others, like the pageant queen who slit her wrists, have to work in the afterlife, which made sense for her. Let it be known, I do not want to work in the afterlife. I don’t want to work now, but I digress.
This is just one of many icons roles Winona Ryder has held, and it might be my favorite. She, like Johnny Depp who she dated for some time back in the day, thrive with unconventional characters. I don’t really want to see her play a super normal person with no weird quirks. Just doesn’t fit with her. Ryder as the rebellious Lydia Deetz is what all of us as teenagers aspired to be, if you were weird. This was just one of your queens. I like how she was both weird yet understanding. She was curious and helpful. If she died, I feel like she would make out better than the Maitlands.
Catherine O’Hara is a gem, and again, this is just one of many iconic roles she’s held. My favorite is Kate McCallister, AKA Kevin’s mom in Home Alone. You know, where they left the child at home during a rush to get to the airport for a family trip that, apparently, the dad covered, but that’s another review entirely. Delia Deetz was weird but not Lydia weird, and I like that you could tell the difference. And I like the opposing sides of Lydia and Delia.
Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice….I just don’t know what to say about it. Besides his role as Batman, this might be one of his most legendary roles. And yes, I know Keaton is a phenomenal actor with a million and one accolades, but Beetlejuice. This is his greatest accomplishment and I stand by that statement. He played the most annoying, yet mesmerizing demon we’ve never met.
Riddle me this, why did it take so long for the people to say Beetlejuice and send him back to where he came from? That scene when he’s trying to marry Lydia and no one can say Beetlejuice three times fast annoys me every….single….time. We saw Barbara literally do this earlier in the movie! Why couldn’t you do it here, girl?! Why couldn’t anyone? What was the reason?
Now, they’ve toyed with the idea of creating a sequel, and there have been rumors that both Ryder and Keaton are down to come back. I think I read an article where Davis also said she was down for the sequel under certain circumstances. I’m not sure if I’d love or hate this just yet. I am leaning towards loving the idea, but what would be the plot this time and would it be worth revisiting these characters?
I want to end this post by sending a special shame on you to my friend who just saw this movie for the first time. It wouldn’t be so egregious if she wasn’t older than me. For reference, I’m 30. Shame on you.