Throw Momma From the Train Review

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Ned Lift (DeVito) wishes his domineering mother (Ramsey) were dead. Larry Donner has similar feelings about his ex-wife (Mulgrew). What could be simpler than swapping respective murders, which would remove any obvious motives, as well as any last minute cold feet, from the crimes? Mrs. Lift, unfortunately, proves more than a pushover...


Anne Ramsay relishing her role as The Worst Mother In The World is the best thing in this otherwise limp comedy written, directed by and starring Danny DeVito, from whom a lot more was expected, and a lot more, surely, is to come. Billy Crystal is where he works best, as an intellectual on the brink of insanity, but even he can’t bring plausibility to a dark comedy that never sets out its premises well enough for us to fall for them. The laughs are incidental and the claustrophobia of the setting never feels conducive to comedy, cornering the director rather than letting his evident talent run amock.

Always a spoof rather than a homage, this comedy soon realises there's only so many laughs you can plunder from the heavy premise and the repetitive carriages.