Friday, May 31, 2013

Femmespiration Friday: Drew Barrymore in Poison Ivy (1992)

Hi friends! It's been a while since I've set aside some time on Friday to gush over whatever 90s dream girl happens to be dominating my brain that week. We've had an incredible series of Friday Femmespiration guest posts over the past few weeks, but I hope you're not sorry that it's time for me to delve back into my one true gift, my one genuine mission in this world: sharing my uninhibited enthusiasm for 90s babes in films of dubious commercial success that can be watched through Netflix instant. This week: a young, seductive, and big-haired Drew Barrymore in the cult classic Poison Ivy (1992).

If you're like me, you've lived through some uncomfortable, soul-searching moments where suddenly realize that your tendency to objectify/idolize (fine line, amirite?) an adolescent Barrymore miiiiight be verging on creepy. Consider, for instance, Drew in 1989's Far From Home:

 Yeah. She's 14. Whoops.

Of course, Drew had lived through quite a bit by 14—frequent nights at Studio 54, trouble with alcohol by age 11, and addiction to cocaine and a bout with rehab by 13. In any case, there is something really thrilling about her particular brand of unselfconscious sensuality. And Poison Ivy, which she filmed at 17, was an important moment in solidifying her image as a more adult actress who could play the hell out of the whole bisexual, irresistible teen-seductress-with-daddy-problems role.

It's also an important moment in solidifying her as one of my most honored 90s babes. From the giant, wild blonde curls, to her staple motorcycle jacket, nose ring, and red lipstick—I was captivated right along with Sara Gilbert's character, Sylvie, in the iconic tire swing opening.

I knew before watching Poison Ivy that it was going to have a very limited threshold of enjoyment for me before the romantic & sexually charged friendship between Ivy (Barrymore) & Sylvie dissolved into Ivy's full scale seduction and conquest of Gilbert's dad (Tom Skerritt) and a whole bunch of sick/absent mom creepiness. I was right.

But at least first we got this:

Honorable mention to Sara Gilbert for this look (not pictured: white socks & combat boots)
I mean, do I even need to comment? I'd do pretty much anything to have a mane like that. Except maybe hook up with Tom Skerritt.

Ivy's look is pretty grungy and badass for the early part of the movie, and of course, I can't get enough of that motorcycle jacket paired with a series of cropped shirts, boots, vintage shades and a dangling cigarette. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a femme fatale in some cutoffs and leather.

However, the movie's twisted plot also conveniently allows for Ivy to experiment with a more glamorous look, as she begins to wear Sylvie's mother's clothes and fantasize about herself as Georgia's replacement. It's hard to deny that this narrative allows for some truly amazing eye candy.

Obviously red becomes a common theme here. The movie is nothing if not subtle.

 I'm going to end this post before I offer too many spoilers (although I'd be remiss not to mention the yellow dress in the above .gif), and because I need to get ready for K.'s drag show (I'm sure a post will be forthcoming!). In closing, Poison Ivy is certainly not a masterpiece of modern cinema, but it IS fantastic example of why Drew Barrymore will always and forever be my 90s Queen Supreme. And remember, next time you are wondering what to wear to seduce your best friend & adolescent crush's father before causing a potentially deadly car crash and trying to replace her mother in your own fantasy version of their family unit (oops, spoilers), look no further. 

It's this:

And make sure it's raining, obviously.

Until next time!

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