Bitch Review: A woman’s bizarre breakdown has far-reaching side effects for her family in this dark comedy drama.
If you’ve been watching Netflix’s latest show Glow, you’ll already be familiar with Marianna Palka. She stars in the show as Reggie Walsh, but she also writes and directs. She now stars in her latest venture, Bitch, which is currently screening at Fantasia International Film Festival, and it is one of the most inventive and quirky black comedies we’ve ever seen. The film follows the rather curious tale of a stressed-out housewife, Jill, whom after a breakdown, develops the traits of an aggressive female dog.
Her husband Bill, played by Jason Ritter, and sister Beth, played by Jaime King, must then band together to keep the family from falling apart. This is a great tale of a man having to accept his responsibilities, and is a cautionary tale to treat your spouse better. As the household unravels you can’t help but feel for everyone involved; despite the insane premise, it feels disturbingly genuine.
Ritter, King and Palka all give great turns. Palka especially is to be commended for her turn as a female-turned-canine, proof of a director who would never ask her cast to do something that she herself would not do. The young actors playing the household’s children also do a fantastic job. The highlight is Brighton Sharbino as the sensible teenage daughter Tiffany. After her performance as Lizzie in The Walking Dead, it’s nice to see her play a nice, normal teen, one far removed from kooky Lizzie. Also rounding out the cast are brief appearances from both Arielle Kebbel, and Martin Starr; the Silicon Valley star steals each scene he’s a part of.
Bitch may sound incredibly bizarre on paper, but it’s actually rather easy viewing, although it does sag a little in the middle. A great black comedy drama that highlights the stresses and demands of modern family life.
Bitch review by Kat Hughes, July 2017
Bitch is currently playing at the Fantasia International Film Festival.