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In the Land of Women
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In the Land of Women More at IMDbPro »

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140 out of 175 people found the following review useful:

Completely misled...

9/10
Author: Tracy_xx from Ohio
21 April 2007

This film is getting a 9 based soley on the completely misleading promotion.

I went into this expecting a love story between Carter Webb (Adam Brody) and Lucy Hardwicke (Kristen Stewart). I was expecting a dramatic age-gap romance with an ending about his having to go back to Los Angeles.

What I got was a totally confusing love hexagon that ended up not being about love at all.

Carter just got dumped. So he decides to go to Michigan to live with his grandmother (who is by far the best and most interesting character) and ends up becoming really close to the women across the street.

While it was moving, touching, and all that good stuff, I left the theater with one thought in my mind. "What the hell just happened?" It was fantastic. I would highly recommend it. However, I would not recommend expecting what I did. Don't go into this hoping that the trailers and poster (which show a lovely romance between Carter and Lucy) ring true to the film. That is not at all what the story is about. It would make a great film, in my opinion, and I still wish it had taken that direction, but sadly it did not. While still fantastic, you should expect a film about real people (with many flaws and weaknesses that humans have, like the inability to to stand up for themselves) not a movie like "She's All That" where the two young, good-looking people fall in love with an epic romance.

That is not this film. Go see it. But see it to see a great study on characters, not story.

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97 out of 132 people found the following review useful:

Fresh, original and surprising!

9/10
Author: BSeverin-1 from United States
20 April 2007

This movie was billed as a romantic comedy, but it's really a drama, and it was so much better than I expected! Redemptive and thought-provoking, this movie raises questions about if women and men can be friends without romantic undertones, and includes themes of forgiveness and living life fully. Meg Ryan is always real and lovable, and Adam Brody is a great counterpart. It's so great to see him as a leading man. I loved him in The O.C., but hopefully the bulk of his career is ahead of him. Scenes between him and the grandmother were hilarious. Very well directed. Definitely one to see with your friends and discuss over coffee afterwards--don't take your parents.

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76 out of 106 people found the following review useful:

Not necessarily a chick flick

10/10
Author: brucea127 from Fort Collins, CO
21 April 2007

I admit to be surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie. Well cast, Meg Ryan in particular.

I enjoyed the dialog, the understated humor, and the story line. The grandmother's role left me somewhat confused, not sure I understand why it was written (or played) the way that it was. However that may be it was the device to get the main character Wisconsin, or was that Michigan? Meg Ryan finally had a role that she excel in. Just the right touch of someone who is more than they seem, and not realizing that themselves. Very interesting story between she and the main character...how they reach out and touch each other, impact each other's lives. Wish the movie had been about twenty minutes longer to better develop the characters and the interaction between them...but two hour movies just aren't the norm anymore and the 100 minutes must suffice. However, it was a 100 minutes well spent.

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45 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Is Hollywood growing up?

9/10
Author: bw11 from United States
12 August 2008

Finally, Hollywood is getting closer to emotional maturity and creativity. In the Land of Women was a delightful surprise. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys delving into the underlying thread of emotion connecting our relationships. As we meander through the sometimes messy connections between characters -- I don't remember any Hollywood sterilization of the situations. We continue, sometimes blind, just like the characters in the story -- and we get an excellent play-out of what ordinary "good" people do to strive to survive and better themselves.

We need more movies like this one -- a "chick-flick" that is more. It makes us think and it makes us feel!

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39 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

Grace "In the Land of Women"

9/10
Author: jon.h.ochiai (jochiai@socal.rr.com) from Los Angeles, CA
22 April 2007

Carter (Adam Brody) says to teenager Lucy (Kristen Stewart), "It's a big world out there. It's messy… and you can't let fear turn you into an ass----." Carter reminds Lucy that she should cut her Mom a break, because she may be dying. Even at a young age, she needs to appreciate that the world does not revolve around her, and knock it off. This is the context of Writer and Director Jonathan Kasdan's (son of Lawrence Kasdan) "In the Land of Women". This is Kasdan's feature film debut as director. The material is not entirely original, we have seen similar before. However, Kasdan's storytelling is deeply personal, strikingly poignant, and bittersweet. Much like his Dad, he demonstrates an ease in composing relationships. He has also assembled a wonderful cast. Adam Brody (of "The O.C.") is amazing in the lead. Kristen Stewart ("Speak") is maturing as a powerful young star. Meg Ryan, who plays Lucy's suffering mother Sarah Hardwicke, is awesome giving one of her best performances in years. I think what "In the Land of Women" does so eloquently, is illustrate the pain of those things missing in life, and our blind spots created by our self-absorption. The indelible image of Meg Ryan's Sarah standing alone in the down pouring rain, crying in isolation is stark, moving, and so very human. More than anything, I think Kasdan touchingly pleads for compassion in our relationships that is decent and forgiving.

Carter Webb (Brody) is a soft core erotica writer, who is dating beautiful movie star Sofia (gorgeous Elena Anaya). As the movie opens, Sofia breaks up with Carter. Devastated Carter sees his mom Agnes (funny and good JoBeth Williams). Carter volunteers to take care of his ailing grandmother Phyllis (the great Olympia Dukakis) in Michigan, giving him an excuse to get out of Los Angeles for a while. Carter befriends Sarah Hardwicke (Ryan) and her daughter Lucy (Stewart), who lives across the street from his grandmother. Sarah is dealing with possible personal tragedy—she has discovered a lump in her breast. Lucy harbors an unusual disdain for her Mom, even for a teenager. Sarah tells Carter that she tries to stay out of her way, as not to "embarrass her". Sarah's husband Nelson (Clark Gregg) is having an affair with another woman, and both Sarah and Lucy are aware. Lucy proclaims that she does not ever want to be like her Mom. The under current in Lucy's judgment is that Mom is weak. Sad and strong Sarah eloquently says to Carter, "I don't want to look back on my life and wonder what part belonged to me…" Carter forms a relationship with both Sarah and Lucy—the twist being at Sarah's encouragement. Kasdan brilliantly orchestrates this relation tie, never awkward, becoming only something that evolves. After all, "In the Land of Women" is about women, and life.

Adam Brody is amazing as Carter. His low key presence, and insightful smarts work "In the Land of Women". His Carter's growth from arrogant heartbroken soul to being a "great listener", who cares about others, is moving. And Brody does this with a light and humorous touch. Kristen Stewart is a star. Stewart resonates in Lucy a bold spirit and smart edge. She beautifully captures Lucy's angst and vulnerability as a teenager defining her self. Makenzie Vega makes an impressive turn as Lucy's younger sister Paige, the precocious yoga practicing preteen. Vega has a touching scene with Mom Sarah in the ice cream shop. Olympia Dukakis is brilliantly subtle as Grandmother Phyllis. For the most part she is comic relief. However, her character provides a wake up call to Carter: "One day I am going to be dead, and you will still be alive…" Meg Ryan is awesome as Sarah. I have always been a fan. She is older now, still beautiful and displaying great power as an actor. Ryan movingly imposes a quiet strength of character in Sarah, who endures a loveless marriage, daughter who hates her, and life and death. Sarah by nature has to always keep it together, so when she asks Carter for help it is out of tremendous courage. As she stands inconsolable in the rain, her suffering is heartbreaking. Meg Ryan's humanity gives "In the Land of Women" grace and poignancy.

John Kasdan's "In the Land of Women" is bittersweet and moving. Adam Brody, Meg Ryan, and Kristen Stewart are great in Kasdan's tale of compassion and forgiveness. Kasdan accomplishes this all with resounding heart and humor.

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26 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

In the Land of Women Movie Review

8/10
Author: GoneWithTheTwins from www.GoneWithTheTwins.com
30 October 2007

With a title like "In the Land of Women," one might expect a grueling exercise in overdone immature comedy. Instead, Jonathan Kasdan delivers a heartfelt, poignant drama dissecting the values of life, love, and friendship, and the experiences that change the views held by its brilliant cast of interconnected characters.

After a disheartening breakup with his girlfriend, Carter (Adam Brody) attempts to distance himself from his troubles by traveling to suburban Michigan to visit his dying grandmother, Phyllis (Olympia Dukakis). Shortly after his arrival Carter meets Sarah Hardwicke (Meg Ryan), the neighborly mother who lives across the street, and he quickly becomes intrigued by her charming nature and unique outlook on life. When he meets Sarah's two daughters, Lucy (Kristen Stewart) and Paige (Makenzie Vega), and becomes a sort of confidant to all three girls, his own views on life and love begin to change as his relationship with each helps to mend the emotional tears in their family.

The characters are the true foundation of In the Land of Women, and finer performances are rarely seen. Carter is an instantly likable persona thanks to Adam Brody and his polished portrayal of a character with realistic flaws and believable aspirations. He is a writer who dreams of utilizing his talent for a more worthwhile venture and finds love in the unlikeliest of situations. Meg Ryan embodies a far more complex character than we're used to seeing, and evokes everything from affection to pathos from her audience. Both Kristen Stewart and Makenzie Vega are talented beyond their years and offer astonishingly intense and mature performances. The likeably morose Phyllis provides much of the comedy relief and also forces Carter to rethink his notions of death and view life in a new light. The compellingly poignant interactions between each character infuse a level of believability into their unusual predicaments to create a connection with the audience almost as strong as the ones they have with each other.

Perhaps Land's only flaw is also one of its finest points of originality and creativity. The intelligent dialogue that permeates the script both draws its audience into its world of intriguing characters while simultaneously keeping the viewer slightly distanced from the realism displayed. Do people truly have such emotionally charged and heart-wrenchingly challenging conversations? Perhaps not, but one can always hope, and the complex characters created here masterfully reveal an idyllic example of such individuals. While the situations portrayed may seem overly complicated, every character involved handles themselves exactly as one would want to see and every increasingly difficult predicament and strained relationship is made believable through exceptional acting and inspired dialogue. No real stumbles or faltering exists in their interactions, but a very real hesitation and a touch of uncertainty in certain conversations adds to the overall attractiveness of each character as they cope with their trying relationships. Only once was an intensely interesting moment cut short (an emotional sequence in a diner when Paige demands the truth from her mother, and consequently the respect involved with comprehending its weight), forcing me to ponder why one such memorable scene wasn't concluded more satisfactorily when all others were.

Subtle humor permeates much of the film, persuading the tone to remain light. Idyllic conclusions find their way into somber and delicate situations resulting in a moving, feel-good movie where tears of joy will likely replace those of sorrow. Though over-sentimentality may intrude upon satisfying drama from time to time, excellent pacing, endearing characters superbly acted, and thought-provoking, poignant dialogue make this Land one worth visiting.

- Joel Massie

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38 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

A Quality Drama-Comedy About Relationships

8/10
Author: tabuno from utah
20 April 2007

The mainstream drama with comedy continues to improve with time and "In The Land of Women" is no exception. In a return of Meg Ryan along with some new young actors, this movie has some fine moments of focus on higher level emotional and narrative dialogues without the stuffy intellectual performances. There is a rich content of feelings here dealing with good topics without necessarily becoming sappy. One criticism regarding the weak ending can be considered its strength. This storyline of this feature film doesn't follow the typical path of most romance dramas to its credit. More along the line of "Lost in Translation" with a plot, this movie touches more on mood and redirecting the audience to important concepts about relationships and real situations in an entertaining, sometimes funny, sometimes sad delivery. While no Neil Simon perfection and the balance between comedy and drama is off, as only a personal preference, this movie suffers from that difficulty fine balance. Nevertheless its a fine film. Eight out of Ten Stars.

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22 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Looking for Love in Seemingly Wrong Places

8/10
Author: gradyharp from United States
31 October 2007

The Kasdan Family has made a significant mark on the better films of Hollywood and Jon Kasdan (writer/director of IN THE LAND OF WOMEN) holds those values of fine cinema intact. Having appeared as an actor in some films of his father Lawrence Kasdan (Grand Canyon, The Big Chill, Body Heat, Mumford, Dreamcatcher, The Bodyguard, etc), he has not only inherited his father's credo of making meaningful statements about life as we are currently living it, he has absorbed the fluid character development of those films and added his own sensitive touch with graceful dialog. He is a talent to watch.

Soft porn writer Carter Webb (Adam Brody in a very fine performance) lives in Los Angeles near his depressed mother (JoBeth Williams) and has just been dumped by his actress girlfriend Sofia Buñuel (Elena Anaya). When his mother learns of her mother's failing state, the distraught Carter offers to travel to suburban Michigan to stay with his grandma Phyllis (Olympia Dukakis). Once in picturesque Michigan Carter deals with his lovable but eccentric grandma and meets the across the street neighbors - mother Sarah (Meg Ryan in fine form), daughters Lucy (Kristin Stewart) and the younger Paige (Makenzie Vega), and errant husband Nelson (Clark Gregg). In this setting of a 'woman world' Carter is key to aiding the various maladies of each of the women while addressing his own disappointing failed relationship. The manner in which he intervenes by simply being present and tender and caring makes a positive impact on not only those around him but also on his own life and talent as a meaningful writer.

In what could have been a soupy chick flick Jon Kasdan has instead provided a script that has a healthy dose of homespun philosophy and has guided his multi-talented cast to offer some of their finest moments on film. This is an entertaining movie, but it is also a balm for viewers who have experienced life-threatening illness, broken homes, coping with the elderly, and ultimately coping with death. It simply works. Grady Harp

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17 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Good Stuff

9/10
Author: wrangel31 from United States
25 April 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't always leave a movie feeling like everything might actually be OK. But this movie did it. It showed that life sends us in a million different directions. But its OK, cause thats life. As superficial as it might sound, we're alive(Phylis did a good job of showing us this). I think this was an awesome movie, even though it wasn't at all what I expected. However, it's kind of cool to finally be surprised in a movie, unlike the normal predictableness that has become Hollywood.

Adam Brody did an extremely exceptional job of playing a guy that didn't know where he was going in life, in the meantime taking care of his grandma, who was convinced she was dieing.

On the other hand, Meg Ryan played a sick mother who was trying to mend her broken relationship with her daughter. I feel there's something in the movie for everyone, or at least all women.

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14 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Garbage

1/10
Author: Anirishmanstale from United States
4 February 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Land of Women" is the quintessential example of how so many of todays movies can be full of plastic characters, inane dialogue, and hopelessly under developed plots and still manage to get some poor slob to think its a good movie. The main character is a kid that runs off to live with his grandmother and for some reason, morphs immediately into the old man on the mountain as far as teaching life's secrets and dispensing endless wisdom. Mind you this stupid punk doesn't utter even a line that qualifies as indiscernible common sense in the entire movie. Never mind anything that is going to make a women swoon with his charm and charisma. Except of course the family of broads that live across the street from his grandmother that collectively seem to have never managed a life 'till the "wise" young punk moves to the neighborhood. The empty, plastic subplots and dialogue in this movie are far too numerous to give attention to in individual detail. Suffice it to say that the hapless viewer is supposed to accept that a righteous babe like Meg Ryan, who doesn't seem to have any job and has nothing better to do all day than to stroll the neighborhood with her dog, has never up until the stupid kids arrival met up with anyone that wants to listen to her, walk with her, or grow close to her and gain enough of her confidence to have her confessing about her husbands infidelity. She seems to have no friends or family that are available to listen to her whining, so she latches on to the "duh" looking punk that wanders the front lawn next door. Allow me to confess that I find it inconceivable that a looker like Meg Ryan with so much time on her hands and exposure seems to have up until the kids arrival, never been able to locate a sympathetic ear. (Trust me, if Meg Ryan was to be in my neighborhood all the time alone and walking a dog, she would find herself being infested with sympathetic ears.) She seems to hang on his every word and thought as if he is the true coming in her life of some living bastion of all things wise and wonderful. Yet when she gets around to confessing to him that her husband is having an affair after a mere couple of outings together, his response is " I have no concept of what that feels like". Would anyone out there reading this honestly surmise that someone you just confessed something heartfelt and hurtful to, who's first response is that they have no idea of what it is you are feeling, come to conclude that that person is someone who's opinion you will eagerly seek out and listen to at a very difficult time in your life? Why should he have any concept of what she is feeling. He is in reality shallow, immature, and stupid. But for some reason none of the women in this family seem to grasp the obvious. When the kid later on tells Meg Ryan that he thinks her husband must be out of his mind to be cheating on her, (although he doesn't even really know her at all and is just turned on by this hot milf who seems to love for some reason being around him) she tilts her head all puppy dog style and basks in the glow of the compliment. Like Hello??, you don't have a clue that this kid just has the hots for you and has never even met your husband that he has just judged. Oh and there is more. Meg Ryan talks her underage daughter, (who she is distant from, but the reason why is never explained), into going on an outing with the kid so he can get to know some of her friends and all, and is then shocked and concerned when she up and falls for him. Did anyone else see that scene coming? Obviously Mom of the year Meg Ryan didn't. Then of course there is the youngest daughter, the so called "genius" that seems to have no problem getting a handle on things like quantum physics, but has never heard of cancer. She of course falls in love with the dork and asks him to marry her when she grows up. Although among the trilogy of dumb broads in this family, it is the little one he has the least amount of interaction with. But of course it all makes sense in this ridiculous movie for he is the embodiment of all things grand and gregarious. This entire movie is in fact all things stupid, and that of garbage.

This movie hopelessly fails at even the bare minimum standards of a chick flick. If the chick in your life ever suggests it, do yourself a favor. Go screaming into the night.....

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