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|Index||125 reviews in total|
Insane really. Even if you haven't seen the original George Cukor movie with Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine and a cast of a thousand other stars you may dismiss this forced, politically correct, depressing comedy. Depressing for many different reasons. Meg Ryan for one. What has she done to herself? Her face can hardly move. That alone puts her miles away from Norma Shearer. Annette Bening should be suing the DP and Debra Messing, what the hell was she doing here? Actresses with no connection in the public's subconscious trying to pass for friends, totally unconvincingly. Eva Mendes in the Joan Crawford part is an outrageous piece of miscasting. What a terrible idea! Her character is like a trans-gender performer without any taste or subtlety. Bizarre to think that a woman adapted and directed this women.The only positive things I can mention are a short but very funny appearance by Bette Midler and Cloris Leachman as the housekeeper.
It was an impossible task to update a classic that was embedded in its time and as such could travel the waves of time intact because we could adapt to its historical context. Now this 2008 version seems the one that's dated. I used to love Meg Ryan, reminded me of Carol Lombard now she's more like Joan Rivers, in appearance if not in spirit. There is nothing funny about her. Strangely enough she looks better in the second part of the film. In any case, the modernity of Norma Shearer's performance is unbeatable. Annette Bening is better but couldn't cancel the memory of Rosalind Russell, who could? If one can divorce oneself from the George Cukor original, and one must to be able to sit through it, there are a few pleasures to be had, mostly thanks to Cloris Leachman, Candice Bergen (playing Meg Ryan's mom for the second time, remember "Rich and Famous"?) and Bette Midler in a much to brief stint playing the part once played by Mary Boland. The most unforgivable blunder is Eva Mendes's Crystal. She couldn't fill Joan Crawford's shoes not even by mistake. Her performance is vulgar, jarring and ugly. How strange that someone as smart as Diane English could give us such a confusing picture of women. Oh well, I had to see it, I saw it and I'm very disappointed but hardly surprised.
As a Spanish tourist in Los Angeles and a fanatic movie lover I committed a terrible mistake. I went to see "The Women" The remake of one of my all time favorites. I've seen the original many many times, in fact I own it. My rushing to see the remake was based on Diane English, the woman responsible for "Murphy Brown" My though was: how bad can it be? She must know what she's doing. Well, I don't know what to say. I don't understand what happened. The Botoxed women is a rather depressing affair. Meg Ryan or whoever played Mary - she looked a bit like a grotesque version of Meg Ryan...another actress perhaps wearing a Meg Ryan mask - she doesn't bring to the character nothing of what Norma Shearer did in 1939. The new one is a tired, unconvincing prototype of what has become a farce within a farce. The "friends" Annette Bening, Debra Messing, Jada Pinket Smith are as disconnected as anything I've ever seen and if this wasn't enough: Eva Mendes as Crystal, the character created by Joan Crawford in one of her best and funniest performances. Eva Mendes's casting is really the poster sign for how wrong, how ill conceived this commercial attempt turned up. I didn't give it a 1 out respect for Candice Bergen and Cloris Leachman
I believe an entire book can be written about the odyssey to remake the
classic film on which this film is loosely based. When Hollywood first
started talking about such enterprise, the reaction was always negative
because there were just too many aspects that could have gone wrong,
starting with the solid ensemble that made the original unforgettable,
and that's exactly where things begin souring here, with the selection
of actresses that otherwise can do remarkable work, but that are not
suited to the parts, and sadly enough, have been directed with the
heavy hand of a director that doesn't understand or appreciate the
It seems as if there is no focus or direction, or as if the direction that has been taken is to obliterate anything that was good about the original film. This is called an updating, as in let's drain the story out of humor, snappy dialogue, and any interesting premise. Most of all, let's prove that women have come a long way, except that the problem is that we don't really get (at least by watching this film) where the women are truly going.
For starters, casting Meg Ryan in the central role proves almost fatal to the movie because somehow she seems to have locked herself into some sort of limbo where women don't really change appearances, even after 20 years of working in the movies. Her Mary which proved to be a difficult role in the 30's, somehow grew from her interaction with the other stereotypes, like Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" by learning, observing, and realizing that she had a choice in the matter. It might not have been a choice that women would celebrate nowadays, but it was fun ride, and part of the fun, was the catty, silly, sometimes slapstick routines that elevated that movie into the realm of the sublime. In here, we are down to earth with a thud. By changing the nature of Sylvia, the film has lost a lot of its spark, and it isn't in anyway Annette Bening's fault. I couldn't help but admiring how she tried to save this sinking ship and got a sinking feeling as she struggled with the horrible lines she was handled. Thankfully I entertained myself by looking at some of her terrific outfits and kept reminding myself how talented this lady really was. Her Sylvia is wise but flawed, and she could have been a great creation. Unfortunately Ms. English wasn't paying attention to her own work and loses control of the one character that could have turned the film into a fresh direction.
Yet that wasn't the biggest blasphemy of them all. In the original, we have Joan Crawford doing probably one of the best performances by a woman. Her Crystal is legendary, with conniving lines, incendiary moves, duplicitous maneuvers, and some very sexy poses. She was the link between the male and the female, and through her we knew what the whole catastrophe was about. She provided the tension between men and women. She was dangerous, sexy, the ultimate femme fatale. A woman of intelligence that we feared and admired, and most importantly, we wanted to destroy to save our heroine. Eva Mendes, as gorgeous as she is, is two dimensional in this outing because of weak writing, and once again, some bad casting.
There are more atrocities in the film, such as the addition of a terrible role for Mensing as the dedicated mother who lives for having babies, and the rather annoying lesbian turn by Pinkett. Then comes the biggest waste of talent in the movie, as Bette Middler, who is a little unrecognizable in her make up, shows the spark of what could have been. Her acidic delivery reminds us of the contemporary angle the film could have taken. Her words revive and put a big of much needed naughtiness in the film, and it is exciting to see that it could really fly, then she is gone. She is in the film all of six minutes, and she fades away in the middle of the muddle.
Here is a movie that raised our anticipation level and truly disappointed us, a film that could have joined the successful "Sex in the City" who made an amazing transition to the big screen because it respected its source material and didn't compromise. It gave us more, bigger and better adaptation. It truly updated what had made it successful before. "The Women" in its present reincarnation needs to go back and rework itself, much like "The Hulk" did it this year, find more suitable performers, a really good writer, and most of all, someone who truly treasures what good movies are about.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First, I should say that I've seen the '39 version at least 100 times; know all the dialog, and have read the '36 play, which is different from the '39 and contains nuggets of gold of its own. This version is as flat as a Lifetime movie on adultery. There's a reason you haven't seen an expensive campaign of TV ads for it. According to Entertainment Weekly, Bening hated the catty tone of the original and how the women spent the whole time going to war on each other. GUESS WHAT??! That was Booth's intent. It was a slick, theatrical take on gossip, adultery, and back-biting among a set of well-heeled Manhattan socialites. The crowd that made this new version had no intention of honoring the original source material. They pick at it weirdly, putting in half a scene here and half a scene there that come from the first version. Bette Midler (who is in just a few scenes and acts the old Countess part in a broad, grinning style) doesn't have any context in this version. She mentions going after "Buck," which is a key element in the original -- then he's never mentioned again. This movie is so dull that I'm not going to over-analyze it, but here are a few things that I found unbelievable: > Mary Haines bragging to her domestic staff: "I can suck the nails out of a board!" Right. Great writing. Norma Shearer could've done a line reading on that & gotten an Oscar nom, right? > A COMPASSIONATE Sylvia Fowler!!!??? Annette Bening got what she wanted, and the movie just sort of withers away. Claire Booth used Sylvia as the comic engine that swept through the play. As portrayed immortally by Rosalind Russell, she was an ignorant, spiteful woman who rattled off reams of petty, ridiculous, irresistible dialog that is still classic and quotable. She wasn't above biting Paulette Godard's ankle. The 2008 filmmakers decided that this character had to die. In killing her off, they killed the movie.
To say I was disappointed is an understatement. An amateur film made by professionals. I was about to leave the theater in two or three occasions (something I've never done)I was stopped by Cloris Leachman really. She rings true, the only one I should say. This new women are less modern than the George Cukor women of the 30's. This ones are "acting" for us trying to be with it but their "conflict" is exactly the same as it has always been, in movies anyway. The fun of the original was based on a crisp, vitriolic and very funny script. A masterful direction and an unrepeatable cast. All the elements that are missing here. TV actresses mingling with models and Oscar nominees/winners. There wasn't anything organic about it. The whole thing felt like a put on, improvised in the moment without a clear objective. 2/10
I really wish I had read everyone's review before going to see the movie... it was one of the most excruciating films that I've ever seen. I was ready to leave the theater 5 minutes into the movie; I should have followed my instinct. The movie offered nothing new or clever, it was boring and very cliché. I was surprised to find that it was directed by a woman! The characters did not represent any women that I know, they were boring, bitter and melodramatic. The movie was unrealistic and depressing and a waste of time and money. And the actors looked tired, poor make-up and hair styling. It was recently compared to the Sex and in the City movie; it was not even half as good. My suggestion, do not see this movie!
I was very disappointed by this movie. Ms English who says that she is a fan of the original movie seemed to have taken a great piece of artistic work, and transformed it into a flat-lined "ho-hum" you've come a long way baby production. I tried to like Meg Ryan's Mary Haines, but she was just boring. She didn't seem to feel anything about her husband's affair. There was no emotional struggle, no deep hurt. In the original 1939 movie Norma Shearer's Mary Haines felt betrayed, shocked, vulnerable, confused and angry. The 2008 production was more about some fake sisterhood theme, (Actually my wife's words)and didn't make you shed a tear or even chuckle. The only performances that were note worthy we're of Debra Messing, and Bette Midler. (I wanted more of Bette.) There was really no protagonist in this movie. The Sylvia Fowler character had too many sub themes to it. And Crystal Allen had no fire. The remake of the department store encounter with Annette Benning, and Miss Mendez was Luke warm. Also the pacing was slow as well. Obviously the 1939 version needed to be updated, but this one wasn't it. The reason that the original version worked so well was that the characters were dealing with "man" problems. A subject by the way which isn't out-dated. The magic of the original movie was that the movie was about both sexes, while you never saw the men.
I have never seen the original 1930s version of the film, but this
remake is one of the worst I have seen from a major production studio
in years. Seeing actors such as Meg Ryan and Annette Bening, once near
A level talents, sleepwalk their way through poorly scripted roles is
painful. There appeared to be no desire to be in front of the camera
for anyone in this film.
Jada Pinkett Smith and Debra Messing play worthless roles that have no bearing on the plot and add no entertainment value. Jada Pinkett Smith's character is used as nothing more than a ploy to appear modern, having an African American lesbian character, but in actuality she is there to just look cool. There is no actual reason why Messing in this film other than to fill out the amount of women in the original I take.
The side characters played by Eva Mendes and Debi Mazar are stereotypical female characters, with Mendes portraying the vixen looking to steal the wealthy but bored and mildly neglected husband and Mazar covering the gossip roles.
The movie is boring, lacking charm, humor, or sympathy for any characters. It almost felt like the movie was a punishment for everyone involved, whether in front of or behind the camera.
There is one glimmering hope in the film, however little it is allowed to shine surrounded by the dim and dying stars around it is Cloris Leachman. Leachman is still an amazing talent that brings her remarkable charm and humor to the film, in the small role that she has.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've never seen the original movie others have commented on, so my
perspective is just about this movie without comparison.
I found the message of the movie to be,: if you only worry about yourself, all will be right with the world, everything will fall into place, your lovers will love you more, your friends will respect and like you more, your employers will want you more, pay you more and even your own children and parents will love you more.
I find this message to be reprehensible and totally false.
Kudos for the very funny birthing scene at the end; there isn't a mother out there who won't laugh during that scene.
Overall a very disappointing movie plot. I didn't find myself rooting for anyone in this movie. I thought they were all pathetic self absorbed individuals that I just didn't care what happened to them and that's not a movie people want to see.
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