Scandalous & Campy
Like many movie fans I recognize the name Jacqueline Susann as she was the writer behind "Valley of the Dolls" but I would imagine that I like many movie fans knew nothing of the woman herself as she died at the age of 56 before I was even 2. Despite knowing nothing about who the real Jacqueline Susann was I found myself watching the made for TV biopic "Scandalous Me: The Jacqueline Susann Story" which details her life, the dramas, the cancer and the successes. Well "Scandalous Me: The Jacqueline Susann Story" is certainly entertaining, bubbly to the point of bordering on the camp and for those unaware of her story interesting but I get a feeling that this biopic doesn't get beneath the surface of what is known.
Now as I pointed out I am no expert on the life of Jacqueline Susann so I don't know how much truth there is in this movie or what changes to the timeline are made or what has been left out although I am sure that there has been some poetic licence used to make it work. But what this movie does is take us fleetingly through her childhood with her strict mother and roguish father before heading to Broadway to become an actress and meeting press agent Irving Mansfield who she married and had an autistic son with. It quickly gets to this point and settles for a while as it deals with their son and his institutionalization but never really settling long enough to explore how it affected her. Then after that we have various other pivotal moments with Jacqueline buying her poodle, her cancer scare and going on to becoming a successful but loathed writer.
The thing about "Scandalous Me: The Jacqueline Susann Story" is that in style it often feels like a 50s sitcom with numerous humorous moments and sets which look like they could have belonged in "I Love Lucy". It makes it a lot of fun such as the scene where a not totally with it Jacqueline spots the poodle in the shop window and the poodle spots her, it's perfect in the sense of being funny but not believable as being a realistic biopic. There are many more and in style "Scandalous Me: The Jacqueline Susann Story" reminds me of "For the Boys" with that bouncy, campy tone which seems in a hurry to navigate the life of the main character.
Don't get me wrong as along the way we learn quite a bit about Jacqueline, what she did, the various drama's in her life, her drug taking as well as friendships. But the whole tone seems more on being amusing that informational which isn't going to be for everyone especially those who already know her story.
What this all boils down to is that "Scandalous Me: The Jacqueline Susann Story" belongs to that group of biopics which is all about the feel, the bounce and getting carried away on a wave of fun.