Friday, July 10, 2020
We then cut back two years to when Chris and Pam first met. Almost immediately, the quiet Chris is drawn to the volatile Pam but it quickly becomes clear that Pam is nigh-unpredictable, which causes concern to those close to Chris. But their happiness (and finances) quickly dwindle after getting married, and Chris takes drastic measures to fix this.
Being based on real events (albeit with changed names), Normal Life was a stark contrast to what audiences knew Perry from. (Test audiences were expecting something more like Beverly Hills, 90210 but got something else entirely; what else would you expect from the man responsible for Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer?) And Perry more than proved himself beyond his Dylan McKay image. It's a shame he passed away last year; he had more to offer.
Similarly, it's frustrating to watch Judd here with the knowledge that her career would suffer a setback "thanks" to Harvey Weinstein (the following year, no less!). But even with that in mind, she's dynamite in this. Like she would in Bug the following decade, she's unafraid to take on such a role.
Normal Life is a damn good picture, the kind you don't really see made much nowadays. (What has McNaughton been up to lately?) Sure, it might've gotten lost in the shadow of Wild Things two years later but that shouldn't discourage you from seeking this out.
My Rating: ****1/2