Meryl Streep stars as the titular doormat, a simpering society hostess who fancies herself an opera singer when in reality, her coloratura style approximates the sounds of barn owls being fed through an Osterizer. As her manager/dark cully, Hugh Grant (sympathetic and syphilitic, Flo looks the other way) keeps the Empress's new clothes cleaned and pressed, padding the audience with tone deaf shills until the night society columnist Earl Wilson (Christian McKay, all too briefly) gives her performance the proper skewing it deserves. Stephen Frears’ (The Grifters, Philomena) flat, theatrical staging saps whatever cynicism there is, turning an otherwise true-life tale of a cad living off a delusional dame into a sentimental romcom. Only Simon Helberg, cast as Flo’s well-paid accompanist, shines through with enough suppressed giggles and stifled stammers to bring to mind Gene Wilder in his prime. For a slight upgrade, check out last year’s Marguerite. (2016) — Scott Marks
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