1989 film by Susan Seidelman

She-Devil is a 1989 film about an awkward and fat mother (Ruth Patchett) who lives in the suburbs with her family. She becomes a monster seeking revenge after her husband (Bob Patchett) abandons her for a romance novelist (Mary Fisher). However, who is the real "she-devil"?

Directed by Susan Seidelman. Written by Barry Strugatz and Mark R. Burns, based on Fay Weldon's novel The Life and Loves of a She-Devil.
Revenge Is Sweet... And Low.

Ruth Patchett/Vesta Rose

  • Some women are born beautiful. They make it look easy. But most women have to put a little time and effort into their appearance. And then there are those of us who need all the help we can get. Like me.
  • Hey, can I have some salt and Perrier? I just spilled my wine on Mary Fisher, you know, the famous author!
  • [reading from one of Fisher's novels] "She entwined her limbs about him, as ivy might wrap itself around some massive pillar. When his love nectar was spent, they drifted into the bliss of sleep."
  • Mary Fisher, I hope your pink palace crumbles into the sea. I hope your delicate white skin breaks out in hives and your shiny blonde hair falls out at the root!
  • Mary Fisher's mother had been enjoying a long, untroubled sleep. It was time to wake her up.
  • [On Nurse Hooper] She was hard-working, loyal, honest…and eager to invest her money where it would do the most good.
  • [Referring to the Vesta Rose Agency] I would start an employment agency for the unloved and the unwanted. Women like Hooper whom the world had thrown away.
  • [Referring to her clients] All these women needed was a little support and encouragement to turn their lives around. They would become my own personal army, ready for action when I needed them.
  • Sad Mary Fisher. She's learning that men that burn so hot for a mistress cool off fast when the mistress starts acting like a wife.
  • I've always found that justice serves those who serve themselves.
  • Poor Bob. I almost felt sorry for him. Almost.

Bob Patchett

  • [speaking to Ruth] I don't even think you're a woman! You know what you are? You're a she-devil!
  • Because that is the real world, Mary, so wake up and smell the cappuccino!
  • It's picture time! [sets Olivia on the Xerox machine]

Mary Fisher

  • Passion. Excitement. I think that it's important in a long-term relationship, and that's what I think women find from my novels. They find ways to make their man feel important and comfortable, to let him know that he is... the man. You know, so there's no confusion.
  • All the little families. Mummies and daddies and dear little children tucked away for the night. [begins crying] How lucky they all are!
  • Someone get this deranged woman out of here!
  • [writing] He held her body as he had for a millennium with an ease neither of them had ever, ever known. He reached for her [pauses trying to think of an appropriate word] ...nub. [she backspaces "nub" and tries again] Love... button!

Olivia Honey

  • Men go crazy when I tell them my name. It's Olivia Honey. They think it's so cute. But it is, isn't it?
  • It's like you give men what they want and they don't want it anymore.

Judge Brown

  • It is true that the defendant has no criminal record and is a well-respected member of the community. But the fact remains that, the defendant stole large sums of money from his clients. In doing so, Mr. Patchett has not only broken a sacred trust, he has shaken the public's faith in accountants everywhere.


  • Bob's mother: Is it that time of the month?
  • Mrs. Trumper: Nurse Hooper may be short, but she's very devoted.
  • Ute: Fuzzy has just shit all over the carpet!
  • Garcia: I may be the butler, but I'm not the maid!
  • Mrs. Trumper: AHHHHGH! Hooper! Vesta! This is long-term leakage!
  • Ute: I took this job because I only had to cook and clean for one person and one dog. Then I get the mother, the lover, his kids, their dog! Ms. Fisher, up with this bullshit I will not put! I quit!


Mary Fisher: What is it, exactly, that you do, Mr. Patchett?
Bob Patchett: I'm a financial consultant.
Mary Fisher: Really?! I'm absolutely in awe of men who know how to handle money. I can't even balance my own checkbook.
Bob Patchett: Doesn't your accountant do that for you?
Mary Fisher: Should he?
Bob Patchett: The good ones do.

Bob Patchett: [in awe of Fisher's home] My God, this is fantastic.
Mary Fisher: You should see my electric bill.
Bob Patchett: I'd love to!

[Ruth comes into the bathroom where Bob is showering]
Bob Patchett: [startled] Ruth! What the hell are you doing?! Oh, please, don't start now. My folks will be here soon.
Ruth Patchett: I'm not starting anything, I just wanted to weigh myself.
Bob Patchett: Yeah, no wonder you're upset.

[Ruth comes into the dining room with soup. She takes the lid off of the dish, exposing Andy's pet gerbil, Herbie, lying dead in the meal]
Bob Patchett: Oh, my God!
Andy Patchett: Herbie!
Nicolette Patchett: I'm gonna barf.
Bob Patchett: Ruth, what the hell is wrong with you?!
Ruth Patchett: I'll go get a strainer.

Bob's father: Uh, if you were not in love with her why did you marry her, Bob?
Bob Patchett: She was pregnant; YOU MADE ME, DAD!
Bob's father: Oh, yeah, right.
Bob's mother: Well, marriage is never easy, son.

Bob Patchett: Ruth, where are you going?!
Ruth Patchett: I don't know, Bob. Into my future, I guess.

Mrs. Trumper: Let me stress one thing above all else. You must report any damp or smelly beds immediately.
Ruth/Vesta Rose: Do you mean...
Mrs. Trumper: INCONTINENCE! Bedwetters have no place in the Golden Twilight home!

Nurse Hooper: I know what you've been doing! The vitamins! The workouts! It's against the rules! I'm going to report you to Mrs. Trumper and then you'll be sorry!
Ruth/Vesta Rose: I don't think so. I have been sorry my whole life and by the looks of it so have you, so you do whatever you want. It's a shame though, Hooper, I always thought women like us should stick together.

Bob Patchett: Mary, what's wrong?
Mary Fisher: Your son and that mongrel are molesting my poodle.

Ruth/Vesta Rose: [taking notice of novel's author] Mary Fisher... any relation?
Mrs. Fisher: My daughter.
Ruth/Vesta Rose: Oh, how nice!
Mrs. Fisher: She's a slut! Bitch keeps me in this dog pound while she lives the life of a princess in her goddamn mansion.
Ruth/Vesta Rose: That doesn't seem fair.
Mrs. Fisher: I ought to drop in on her one day. That'd scare the shit out of her!

Mary Fisher: Oh, don't you look... what's the matter with your clothes?
Nicolette Patchett: You did the laundry.
Mary Fisher: Oh yes, must be something wrong with that machine.

Nicolette Patchett: [looks at food] What is it?
Mary Fisher: It's potage de creme cresson.
Andy Patchett: What's that?
Mrs. Fisher: It's French for dog puke.

Bob Patchett: You know Mrs. Fisher, I haven't told you what a wonderful daughter you've got. You did a terrific job in raising her!
Mrs. Fisher: You'd never know it the way she treats me! Ms. Famous Writer over there... You would think a 41-year old woman would have learnt to appreciate her mother!
Mary Fisher: [angry] You would think that a mother would appreciate the very expensive nursing home her daughter pays for!
Bob Patchett: Mary, I th... I thought you were 34?
Mary Fisher: [nods]
Mrs. Fisher: Ah she's 41, I got the birth certificate to prove it.
Mary Fisher: [while simpering] Don't listen to her, she's getting... senile!
Mrs. Fisher: [agitated] Bullshit, I remember everything! I remember when you were just a teena...
Mary Fisher: [screaming] Nobody's interested in what you remember so you shut up!

Mrs. Trumper: She doesn't need nursing. She needs TLC.
Mary Fisher: What is that? A new drug?

Journalist: Are you saying she was promiscuous?
Mrs. Fisher: Promiscuous? She was a teenage tramp! She couldn't get enough. She'd do it anywhere, anytime, and with anyone!

Publicist: What's that in your hair?
Mary Fisher: Oh! It's a Gummy Bear! [eats it]

Bob has had charges prepared against him for embezzlement. He and Mary are meeting with Larry, his attorney
Larry: Well Bob, this is serious. You are facing a fine of $200,000.
Mary Fisher{sotto}: Oh, we can afford that.
Larry: ...and two to five years in state prison. Only two words can save you now.
Bob Patchett: Pay off?
Larry: No. Judge Phillips.
Bob: Judge Phillips?
Larry: We have drawn Judge Phillips and that is good news, very good news indeed. He was my dad's old golfing partner. Judge Phillips has earned a reputation of being, shall we say, considerate to white-collar criminals. We can say a computer bug somehow crept into your system and made errors in these accounts. I will be golfing with him this weekend so we can work out the plan. Besides, since a large part of the money was from Mary's account, it may work. After all, you would not steal from your woman, right?
Mary gives look to Bob as her lawyer unknowingly revealed Bob stole from her.
Bob Patchett: Are you sure this can work?
Lawyer: Hey, I do not get paid $350 an hour to give bad advice.
Bob and Mary depart lawyer's office. Larry gives himself a nervous look.

Mary Fisher: How shall I inscribe this?
Ruth Patchett: Would you sign it, "To Ruth"?
Mary Fisher: "To Ruth, With Thanks, Mary Fisher."
Ruth Patchett: Thank you.
Mary does a double take, having heard that name somewhere, but brushes it off. With a "devilish" twinkle in her eyes, Ruth departs; the next one in line steps up.
Alain: Would you inscribe it "To Alain", please.
Mary Fisher: Bien sur. (Translation: "Of course.")
Alain: Your grasp of the Postmodern metaphor is wonderful, Mrs. Fisher.
Mary Fisher: Oh, no, no, no. Miss Fisher. (She removes her glasses and begins to flirt) Please, call me...Mary.


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