In writer/director Onur Tukel's CATFIGHT, Sandra Oh and Anne Heche are literally at each other's throats. No, this is not a metaphor. Throughout nearly the entire 90-minute film, two of Hollywood's most underrated actresses physically fight each other to the point in which they are sent into a comatose state, suffer a miscarriage, and lose any shred of dignity they once had.
And that's pretty much the basis of this film. Ever since watching it several weeks ago, I've been struggling to come up with another thing to say about it, but there just isn't much else here. Oh and Heche play Veronica and Ashley, long-lost frenemies who unceremoniously reunite at a posh party in the city. Ashley (Heche) is serving drinks at the bar, while Veronica (Oh) is whooping it up as a spirited guest with her rich hubby. At first, the two women's unexpected encounter is cordial enough, though establishing their polar opposite sides of the class spectrum. But soon later, their suppressed rivalry erupts into an all-out brawl outside the party in a stairwell—and continues in frequent regular bursts throughout the remainder of the movie.
Sure, there is some dialogue and characterization in between each scuffle, some sense of who these women are. But it's paper thing, merely highlighting Veronica's fierce love for her son and oblivious disconnect from her husband, and Ashley's unlovable nature even in the midst of an otherwise healthy relationship with her neurotic girlfriend, Lisa (Alicia Silverstone). None of the characters are particularly interesting. And Turkel's attempt to form a bond, albeit feeble, between Ashley and Veronica in the midst of them giving each other a black eye just seems awkward. Not to mention, it presents yet another example of how too many men perceive women's relationships—through bitter rivalry and petty arguments. It rings distant and false. Both these actresses deserve better than this.
CATFIGHT is now playing in theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Cleveland, Seattle, Orlando, Phoenix, Denver, Kansas City (and all digital platforms).
Watch the trailer: