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The Stepford Wives (2004)

5.2
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 44,310 users   Metascore: 42/100
Reviews: 398 user | 166 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

What does it take to become a Stepford wife, a woman perfect beyond belief? Ask the Stepford husbands, who've created this high-tech terrifying little town, in a very modern comedy-thriller.

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Title: The Stepford Wives (2004)

The Stepford Wives (2004) on IMDb 5.2/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jerry Harmon
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Herb Sunderson
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Beth Peters
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Stan Peters
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Storyline

Joanna Eberhart, a wildly succesful president of a TV Network, after a series of shocking events suffers a nervous breakdown and is moved by her milquetoast of a husband, Walter, from Manhattan to the chic, upper-class and very modern planned community of Stepford, Connecticut. Once there, she makes good friends with the ascerbic Bobbie Markowitz, a jewish writer who's also a recovering alcoholic. Together they find out, much to their growing stupor and-then horror, that all the housewives in town are strangely blissful, and somehow... doomed. What is going on behind the closed doors of the Stepford Men's Association and the Stepford Day Spa? Why is everything perfect here? Will it be too late for Joanna and Bobbie when they finally find out? Written by Miguel Cane <stepford@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, thematic material and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

11 June 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las mujeres perfectas  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$134,506 (South Africa) (29 October 2004)

Gross:

$268,694 (South Africa) (12 November 2004)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several scenes and some sub-plots were deleted and/or added to the film based on audience test reactions: - The scene where Faith Hill's character breaks down at the square dance ran a few seconds longer. - There was originally a scene of Walter contemplating whether or not he should go through with turning Joanna into a Stepford Wife, and the other husbands try to convince him that she'll be happy that way. - Filmed but deleted was an extravagant extended version of the scene between Bobbie and Joanna when Joanna finds out that Bobbie has been turned into a Stepford Wife. After Bobbie tells Joanna all of her shortcomings, Joanna stabs Bobbie above the breast with a butcher knife. Bobbie goes haywire, and sets about performing a number of household tasks in the manner of the old Tex Avery cartoons, with Bobbie's finger turning into a vacuum cleaner, her tongue into a squeegee and her head exploding off of her shoulders while demonstrating what an orgasm is like for a Stepford Wife. The scene concludes with Bobbie opening her breasts to reveal a built-in cooler and offering Joanna a beer. It was the biggest FX sequence in the film, but was cut out despite great expense and months of work by computer artists. This was done because preview audiences felt it was "too much". It can be found as a deleted scene on the DVD. - An extended scene of Walter in the basement of the men's club deactivating the Stepford program, and displays indicate that the women's real brains have been transplanted into robot bodies. At the end of the sequence Faith Hill's character shoots her hand out of her arm on a long robotic tether and holds her husband up in the air. - The original ending of the movie was an extension of the scene where Glenn Close kisses Christopher Walken's head. When she kisses it, the electricity throws Close up in the air, where she levitates, as in the old Tex Avery cartoons, and her shoes explode off of her feet and fly up against a wall and all of her hair stands on end. She falls down next to Walken's head, which briefly comes alive and croaks, "Good night. Thank you for visiting Stepford," while Joanna and Walter look on and the camera pulls back for the fade-out. See more »

Goofs

After the wives are supposedly "deactivated," one touched a remote control, and the device sparks. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Helen Devlin: Ladies and gentlemen, I would now like to introduce a legend in our industry. She's the most successful president in the history of our network and for the past five years has kept us at the very top of the ratings.
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Crazy Credits

The opening titles are shown alongside various vintage clips from the 1950s of women operating high-tech (for the time) appliances. See more »


Soundtracks

My Heart, Forever
by John Sbarra
Courtesy of FirstCom Music
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User Reviews

 
Too lightweight for its subject matter
16 November 2005 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

The original film, and the great novel that preceded it are worthy of a better treatment than this lighthearted, anti-suspenseful, Hollywood variety show. What's more, the excellent veteran cast, the catchy soundtrack and the expensive production values could have made this into the socially serious, poignant and yet funny contemporary masterwork it should have been. Instead, we are left with a film whose campiest moments are clichés and whose point seems to be love conquers all - even the sexism, genderism and masculocentrism still rampant in American Society today! I never expect comedies to do a particularly good job with continuity and logic, but some of the continuity problems in this film are really pretty amazing. Plot twists are, after all, supposed to change the COURSE of the plot, not its basic premises. I'm dying to tell you about it, but I won't write a spoiler.

Here are the basics: Nicole Kidman and Matthew Broderick are a successful couple whose marriage has been suffering a bit because of the stress of their work-lives. Nicole, a TV executive famous for post-feminist male-bashing shows gets fired for no particular reason and they couple decides to move away to Stepford, an exclusive community populated by people who seem to have no particular troubles of any kind, or even jobs for that matter. Some of the first things Matthew Broderick realizes about Stepford is that all of the women are beautiful, and everybody is marvelously happy with a few possible exceptions - his own wife, Bette Midler and a gay liberal whose partner has been sucked into republicanism. Predictably, these three conspire to resist the happiness all around them and investigate the mystery of the Stepford men's club.

I've described the first quarter of the film. Although the central plot is interesting and strong, the lack of even a shred of seriousness detracts very heavily from it - even from a comedic point of view. If this film hadn't made me disinterested, the feminist in me would have simply been angry over the missed opportunity this film represents. Moreover, it is possible to see this film as a justification of the 'blame the victim' mentality so often prevalent in contemporary culture.

Most of the cast seems equally unengaged. They sometimes seem to be playing roles in different films - interacting with each other poorly and playing their roles with no particular goal in mind. I can only fault the director here. Broderick and Kidman are, as usual, very watchable, but even Nicole seems to be unsure what her character is supposed to be portraying at times. Bette Midler is fine, as are Walken and Glenn Close. Close was actually, IMO, the show stealer - making the film tolerable with her excruciatingly irritating and very dominant presence.

While not a complete travesty, I can not recommend The Stepford Wives.


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