Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde

Who would’ve thought that if another woman came between me and Sarah, that it would be me?

Year Released : 1995dr-_jekyll_and_ms-_hyde_poster
Director : David Price
Cast : Tim Daly, Sean Young, Lysette Anthony, Stephen Tobolowsky, Harvey Fierstein and Jeremy Piven

So I’ve found finding new films to review (that I want to watch) rather difficult recently. There hasn’t been a lot to spark my curiousity enough to want to watch it and I’m not going to watch films that very few have heard of simply to produce reviews on a regular basis, I have to see at least something in the trailer that makes it worth watching. So based on that I decided to go into the past and review a film that I first watched at the age of 11 (I’m now 32 for context), “Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde”.

Now, for those that have never read this site before, or those that have only read sporadic reviews here and there, I am transgender. I am currently in the middle of the process of changing from male to female and growing up I took every opportunity I could to watch anything about transgendered people that I could, and that extended to this film. At 11 years of age I wasn’t really fussed about things such as good acting, a plot that doesn’t mistakes or anything else really……I was only 11 afterall.

Now, technically this isn’t actually a film about transgenderism because the central character has no intention of being female, and the changed form has it’s own personality, but I was young at the time and loved it. However, one thing I have discovered recently is that I had a terrible taste in films growing up (and some would probably argue that that hasn’t changed). I recently found a load of my old VHS tapes and have been watching some old films (too well known to be reviewed on here) and there are some absolute shockers that I can actually remember loving.

But anyway, onto my review….

Plot

Dr. Richard Jacks (Daly) works at a perfume company and is really struggling to come up with the next elegant fragrance for women. He soon learns of the death of a distance relative and goes to the funeral with his girlfriend, Sarah (Anthony). Whilst everyone else gets a extravagant items being left to them in the will, Richard only receives several books of scientific notes. Upon reading the notes he discovers that his relative was the infamous Dr. Jekyll, and Richard decides to use the formulas in the books to try and understand women better, all for creating the perfect fragrance.

Richard ingests the formula one night but nothing happens before he leaves for a job interview. The interview isn’t going well as Richard arrives late and the waiter spills coffee on his shirt. Richard suddenly starts struggling to get words out, and after drinking some orange juice he notices his nails growing to a very feminine length, and all of his body hair disappearing. Suddenly a pain comes from his genitalia and he sees his penis disappear. His hair suddenly grows, as does his chest, and in a panic he runs out and back to his lab, upon reaching he sees the full extent of the physical changes that have taken place.

Shortly afterwards Richard’s perverted colleague, Pete (Piven), watches the now female Richard in the shower. The new personality eventually names herself as Helen Hyde, flirts with all of Richard’s co-workers and even has dinner with Sarah. She soon notices that she is changing back into a male form. Once transformed back, Richard thinks it was just a black out and thinks nothing of it until all of his colleagues start mentioning Helen, and as time goes on more and more transformations happen, but Helen isn’t satisfied with a part-time life, and spends her time trying to sabotage the life of Richard.

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So, as good as I remembered?

Well there is one thing that I will say about “Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde” and that is that no matter what people say about it, it is a fun movie and whilst I noticed a lot more flaws than I did when I was younger, I still had a good time watching it. Make no mistake though, this is not a good movie in many regards.

Let’s start with that bits that I did like.

As mentioned above, this is a fun movie, it is one of those that you can just sit back for ninety or so minutes and not really have to think about anything.  The comedy is fairly genuine throughout and whilst being a little cruel in many places, you feel an affinity for the majority of the characters, and that’s something that you don’t get in most films. You don’t even really hate Helen and you can see things from her point of view, which makes for a good antagonist.

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Now let’s move onto the flaws and let’s start with the obvious that a lot of the characters witness the transformation from male to female, or vice versa, and just brush it off. For example, there is one scene in which Helen is about to have sex with one of Richard’s co-workers, but her breasts disappear when she opens her lingerie, and other than a bizarre moment of confusion, the character just brushes it off completely. Whilst he obviously has sex on the mind, if I was a guy that was obsessed with sex, breasts disappearing all together would confuse the hell out of me to the point where I wouldn’t want to have sex anymore.

This isn’t the only bizarre scene that is relating to sex in the film as she also somehow manages to seduce a homosexual man into having sex with her, even the man’s full on relief in the final scene makes no sense.

So based on that, I’m going to give a spoiler of the end here. To skip to the end of the spoiler simply go down to the summary section.

Ok, spoiler time (last warning). The film ends with Richard successfully coming up with a formula to keep his body male permanently, and Sarah successfully injects Helen with it. She changes back to Richard in front of everyone, and he tries to explain the situation as having to live as a woman in order to create the perfect fragrance for one. Everyone treats this as though Richard had genuinely tricked them…..but surely, surely they must have realised that it wasn’t Richard by the fact that he and Helen were completely different builds, didn’t look even remotely similar and when they were having sex with Helen, they were (forgive the blunt nature of this) sticking their penis into a vagina.

Everyone acting as though the whole situation as normal was just beyond ridiculous, especially the aforementioned homosexual man that acts as if everything was ok.

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Summary

A fun movie that keeps you entertained for ninety or so minutes isn’t enough to make me want to give it the approved stamp for the simple reason for it having too many flaws to be taken seriously.

There isn’t really much more to say about “Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde” because it is what it is. If you’re after a movie to enjoy for a few hours of your day then you can’t go wrong as it’s innocent fun, but ultimately it’s not a great film and if you’re after something with substance and more than the odd memorable scene, then this isn’t for you.

I’m not going to give it the approved stamp, but it’s still worth a watch.

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