"Ruthless People is the kind of Hollywood comedy you can never get enough of, in the summertime or anytime. It's light, fast, funny, and not too nice. You don't need to know more about the plot complications except perhaps that Midler loses weight with unforeseen consequences. Her outrage when she learns that DeVito won't even ransom her for a bargain-basement $50,000 is cherishable. The actors, including Bill Pullman, as Morris's dumb peroxide-blond stud, all look good, especially Midler. The down-and-dirty Ruthless People is the comedy that for the first time this year entitles Hollywood to dust off the word 'romp', after a year of supposed comedies that suggest a fleet of cement mixers struggling up a hill in low gear."
-Jay Carr, BOSTON GLOBE
Clothes manufacturer Sam Stone arranges to have his obnoxious wife, Barbara, killed. Before the hit takes place, though, Ken and Sandy Kessler kidnap her. They are our to get even with Sam, who has stolen Sandy's idea for a Spandex miniskirt and made a fortune. Then they try to get Sam to pay them back by ransoming Barbara, but Sam refuses to pay. He figures this is the best way to get rid of his wife. Complicating matters are Sam's mistress, Carol, and her idiot boyfriend, Earl. In the end, Barbara bonds with Sandy and Ken, and they conspire to swindle Sam and give him a taste of his own medicine.