Menu for Murder (1990)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Julia Duffy in Menu for Murder (1990)


Jan Mayfield (Robin Mattson) runs the parental teacher association like a dictator which makes most of the women she bosses around despise her. It means at one of the PTA events when Jan drops dead the immediate suspect is Susan Henshaw (Julia Duffy) as she was the one who served her the sandwich which might have caused food poisoning. It leads to detective Joe Russo (Ed Marinaro) questioning her but then asking her to help him as he is an uncomplicated guy who doesn't understand the world of psychic dieticians and mummy & me groups which Susan and her friends move in. Susan working with the handsome Joe makes her husband question her eagerness to assist.

Seven women, a murder, and a handsome detective finding himself trying to understand the lives of these affluent women who spend their days at the club or the spa or getting their hair done, whilst flirting with younger men. Basically "Menu for Murder" feels like a Hollywood take on an Agatha Christie style storyline, having fun by having these wives who leave a life of luxury. And maybe back in 1990 this would have been entertaining as we watch these women take it easy, lounge by the pool whilst winding up Susan over her friendship with handsome Joe but now it is a little cheesy and barely keeps your attention when it comes to the mystery of who the killer is as these friends start being knocked off one by one.

The one thing which "Menu for Murder" still has in its favour is a wonderful cast which features Julia Duffy, Morgan Fairchild, Marla Gibbs, Edie McClurg, Joan Van Ark and Cindy Williams. Okay we are talking late 80s so we have big hair, lycra, off the shoulder jumpers and all the things which now remind you of the bad fashions but with these bad fashions and the comical nature of most of their characters the actors certainly add some thing to the movie. Even a young Casper Van Dien as a lifeguard also adds to the humorous nature of the movie.

What this all boils down to is that "Menu for Murder" is one of those who dunnit movies which are not so much entertaining for the mystery but for a glimpse back in time to the fashions and haircuts from the past as well as a look at some familiar names when they were younger.