The Heidi Chronicles1995

Jamie Lee Curtis stars in this adaptation of Wendy Wasserstein's hit play The Heidi Chronicles. A lecture about ignored female painters by art historian Heidi Holland (Curtis) frames the decade-by-decade story of her life, starting with a high school dance in the mid-'60s and working its way through political rallies, feminist consciousness raising, gay rights, AIDS, the excess of the 1980s--it's a bit like Forrest Gump, but with a smart, self-deprecating woman instead of a dumb cheerful guy. Wasserstein traces a well-intentioned (if glib) arc of female experience through this time period, articulating the costs of independence as well as the glories. The important personal realizations come fast and thick, but Curtis, Tom Hulce, Kim Cattrall (in a wealth of era-appropriate wigs), and Peter Friedman do their best to keep The Heidi Chronicles from being a baby-boomer pop-up book. --Bret Fetzer

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