Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

US movie (1991). Columbia Tri-Star/Odyssey-Regency/Home Box Office/Cinema Plus/Beco. Pr Tony Adams. Exec pr Arnon Milchan, Patrick Wachsberger. Dir Blake Edwards. Vfx Michael Owens. Screenplay Edwards. Starring Ellen Barkin (Amanda Brooks), Bruce Martyn Payne (Devil), Jimmy Smits (Walter Stone). 103 mins. Colour.

Bullying, foul-mouthed, manipulative, chauvinist adman Steve is murdered by three ex-mistresses. In Purgatory, he finds God undecided if he should go to Heaven or Hell, and is given a chance through Reincarnation to avoid the latter if he can find just one female who likes him; the Devil intervenes, pointing out that Steve might brutalize yet another unsuspecting female into adoring him, and so Steve is reincarnated as bullying, foul-mouthed, manipulative Amanda. Blackmailing her way into Steve's old job, she finds herself surrounded by chauvinist males much like her old self, but her strong streak of homophobia bars her from taking up a lesbian relationship. The Devil offers her a job as a recruiter of Souls or as mother of his child (referring to Rosemary's Baby [1968]), but she rejects him. Instead, one drunken night she sleeps with Steve's best buddy Walter, becoming pregnant. She gives birth to a girl but dies – the baby being, of course, the one female who likes her.

S is a limp sex comedy, overburdened with profanity and leaving most of its plot's potentials unexplored: the most significant running gag is Amanda's difficulty in wearing high heels. [JG]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.