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|Index||125 reviews in total|
This movie is an absolute disgrace and so horribly reductive and misogynistic which makes it so unbelievable that it was directed by a woman and women agreed to act in it. These women couldn't be more 90s Cosmo/sex and the city stereotypes who also look like they're in the 90s, only the movie was made in 2008! If it wasn't for all the plastic surgery faces I would definitely think this was a 90s movie, I mean even the colour grade was 90s! I haven't seen the original but I'm sure even in the late 30s they would have been more progressive than this. The dialogue is painful and clichéd at best and it contains many many cringing moments. Cringing not as funny haha but cringing as in the script is absolutely offensive. Ever heard of the Bechdel test? It asks if a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. (Wikipedia) Well this movie fails the test and it's a movie with an all female cast. This movie has successfully become my worst movie of all time followed by Adam Sandler's Click.
I went along to this movie with some trepidation; the original is a masterpiece of both writing and acting and unfortunately my fears were realized. This is a humorless piece of work and I sat in the theater waiting for the wit and humor to begin- I'm still waiting, it seems. Updating the storyline to the present time just didn't work and the altering of characters an absolute travesty- why did they introduce Bette Midler's character when she disappeared just as quickly as she arrived; the related character in the 1939 original was an integral part of the plot. The women in the cinema laughed a few times but nothing touched me as being funny with the exception of a line from Meg Ryan talking to her mother about her situation and telling her that 'it's not like a 1930's movie'- I sorely wished I was viewing the 1930's version. It was all too touchy feely 'sisters stick together' and really needing some of the acerbic wit and clever dialog from the original play- I still watch the original movie and pick up a line that I have never caught before. There is no sense of closure to this new version, and whilst the 1939 movie is politically incorrect by todays standards, each thread was tied up and when the movie ended- it did so strongly. This remake should be labeled with a warning for any viewers- if you know the original, don't bother: I felt cheated by losing part of my life in a cinema watching this unmemorable piece of fluff. Bring on the Jungle Red!!
The original 1939 "The Women" garnered some really die hard followers. There are message boards still going on it. "I have two questions; first, what did she say about _______; and, second _________." Someone comes along a few posts later and says she can answer the first part of the question, and does, but not sure yet about the second. It's that embedded. Most of the fan-atics of the original warned against any attempt to remake something so perfect. They jumped on "The Opposite Sex," and trounced that rather thoroughly. It was a bad movie. But, their full fury is earned here. It turns out their dire prediction of failure is vindicated in both cases. At least "The Opposite Sex" changed the name before they changed it all around. Here, it's not only a change-around, but an even further deterioration in flow, timing, direction, authenticity with added errors in casting and performance. Don't directors know how to say "cut" anymore? This should be followed by a firm instruction as to what's really going on here, how the characters feel in this scene, and, let's start again from whatever point. They used to say at the end of filming that it's in the can, meaning the finished reel is in its metal case and ready to be distributed. Sadly, this weak effort with its canned performances was finished before production ended, and quite unready for distribution.
What an absolute horror! Diane English got it all wrong. On the DVD she
claims that "The Women" is all about the women. Wrong. The original
film is about gossip. She takes a very timeless story and butchers it
in her updates and gives it a happy ending. Seriously?!? I thought
everything to do with the Norma Shearer character was obnoxious in the
original, but Meg Ryan (or what used to be her face) was dreadful.
Can I also put a big SHAME ON YOU out to the hair stylist, costuming, and makeup people for this film? Annette Benning is a stunning woman, the face of Paramount, yet they managed to make her look like a dowdy old hag. They made Jada Pinkett Smith unrecognizable and Debra Messing look like a troll. And, Bette Midler.. What did she have to do with anything? Her character was completely wasted and pointless. The script was mindless and everything out of these women's mouths was tired and unfunny. How many times did I have to announce, watching this DVD, "Oh that was supposed to be another funny joke". The jokes are right out of the 1980's, cliché, and so recycled that they make used unmatched, thread worn socks from the Salvation Army desirable for purchase. Diane English's women are sad people - they're all really cardboard, materialistic, shallow, and fake.
Horrible, horrible, horrible train wreck. Needless to say, I hated this movie and everybody in it. What a waste of time, my intelligence, my money, and the cast.
To Mick Jagger I can only say this - stick to films like ENIGMA from now on. Never attach yourself to this kind of garbage again! See the original and get that the story is about different women, all with their own insanity (including the co-dependent Mary), whom are not to be admired. Their gossip leads to nothing but trouble and it never ends.
Oh, and while you're at it see the 1990's film GOSSIP because even that was pretty good and way better than this junk!
Director/screenwriter Diane English's 2008 update of George Cukor's
1939 MGM classic comedy unfortunately shows more mothballs than its
predecessor. Based on Clare Booth Luce's shrewdly observant 1936 play
on the relationships that evolve among a strictly female group of
pampered Manhattan socialites, the story would seem ripe for a
contemporary remake. Instead, because of English's thematic overreach,
the production comes across as an extended therapy session with a
paucity of wit. What's more, the diverse lifestyles of women today have
been reduced to sitcom-level stereotypes in this movie, and the
original play's central conceit of eliminating men from the storyline
seems even more contrived given the openly pansexual evolution that has
occurred among men as well as women since the 1930's. To add insult to
injury, the recent big screen adaptation of HBO's "Sex and the City"
did this sort of sorority-style dishing much better and with far
The skeleton of the original play remains as the story centers on wealthy Mary Haines, who gave up her promising clothing design career to become the devoted wife of a Wall Street financial wizard. Like "Sex and the City", she is surrounded by three best friends - Sylvie Fowler, a successful, cutthroat magazine editor in the mold of Miranda Priestly in "The Devil Wears Prada" (yet another film this echoes); perennially pregnant Edie Cohen representing the stay-at-home wife; and Alex Fisher, a lesbian author who seems to represent every repressed group generally excluded from such an exclusive clique. Through a mouthy manicurist, they find out Mary's husband is having an affair with man-eater Crystal Allen, a perfume girl at Saks more than willing to break up a marriage as she struggles to become an actress. The rest of the plot doesn't matter much since it becomes a series of scenes focused on sisterly bonding and bickering, none of it very illuminating and without the satirical zing that buoyed the 1939 movie.
Looking strangely youthful at 47, Meg Ryan seems to play Mary in a manner that tries to resuscitate the goodwill she engendered in the 1990's with "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle". It's not that she isn't age-appropriate here, but her familiar sprightliness seems at odds with the character's passive nature. Annette Bening fares somewhat better in the scene-stealing Rosalind Russell role of Sylvie because she has proved to be adept at conveying hardness while masking vulnerability, but her character goes through such a trite transformation that it undermines the actress' performance severely. Poor Eva Mendes has to play Crystal as a shallow, transparent shopgirl versus the smart, hard-edged cookie Joan Crawford got to play. Debra Messing and Jada Pinkett Smith are scooted way to the sidelines as Edie and Alex, respectively. Much better are Candice Bergen as Mary's savvy, supportive mother and Cloris Leachman as the non-nonsense housekeeper.
Probably reflecting the lackluster box office response to the film's release, the 2008 DVD doesn't have a robust set of extras. There are two deleted scenes - one with Crystal and her friends having a girls' night-in as a contrast to Mary's elaborate garden party, and the other an extension of Bette Midler's cameo as a multi-married Hollywood agent counseling Mary during a late night at a yoga camp. Two featurettes round out the extras" "The Women: The Legacy" about the history behind the film from the original 1936 play, and "The Women Behind the Women" which has the cast and crew speak endlessly about female self-empowerment and self-image. The irony is that this version of "The Women" directed and scripted by a woman takes such a patronizing look at women.
"The Women" uses the same character names and the plot skeleton of the
1939 George Cukor classic with the same title, but it is really more an
alternate "Sex and the City" than an updated version the original. I
found it neither as bad as its many detractors claim nor as good as its
somewhat more limited number of fans make it out to be, but it's
probably best if you are not terribly familiar with (or not a big fan
of) the classic version. While that film has always been polarizing,
even its critics recognize it has some of the snappiest, wittiest
zingers in Hollywood history. Sadly, that sharpness is missing from the
script of this film.
And then there's the cast. I don't envy any group of actresses setting themselves up for comparison with the sensational ensemble of the original. This cast sounds impressive on paper, but they never really gel. It took the "SATC" women several seasons of hard work to develop as individual characters that come together so smoothly. Ryan, Bening, Messing, and Pinkett Smith can't manage the same feat in two hours, especially not when saddled playing cardboard stereotypes representing different aspects of whatever the filmmakers think "the modern woman" is. Not one of these characters, for all the talents of the actresses playing them, ever actually felt like a real person.
That said, there's some life here, scattered scenes that are amusing or touching. The four leads are ably assisted, especially by Cloris Leachman and Candice Bergen, in beautifully played roles that ring true. And Bette Midler steals the too-brief chunk of the movie she gets, giving us a hint of how brass and sassy a genuine attempt at updating "The Women" might have been. Unfortunately, Eva Mendes then comes back on screen, reminding us of how beneath Joan Crawford's Crystal Allen her version is, and how much this movie pales in comparison. (Not that it's all Mendes's fault -- true, she's no Joan Crawford, but her role here is a shadow of what Crawford got to sink her teeth into.) If you like chick flicks (I'm a guy, but I tend to) and you're not hoping for anything close to the original, then give it a go. Just don't expect too much. Everyone else, don't waste your time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well, don't even try to compare this piece of garbage to the original. There are several reasons why you should try and do what I can't: 1. The cast in general is inferior. I love Candice Bergen, surprisingly Debra Messing, BUT Meg Ryan as Mary Haines, Eva Mendes as Crystal Allen, and Annette Bening as Sylvia Fowler are lamentable. 2. Crystal Allen/Eva Mendes is painful, really bad, and should be noted as the worst of the bunch. 3. The delightfully catty look at society wives is changed into a run of the mill girly ra-ra movie. The spirit of the original is totally perverted. 4. The exposed zippers in the fashion scene was awful. Edith Head would roll in her grave. The best scene was the delivery room scene. Seriously, the only funny thing.
Anyone who has seen the original 1939 production, or a stage showing of this delightful story need not bother with this pointless, ridiculous remake. I went in knowing I would hate this, and I was exactly right. Why in the h**l does Hollywood insist on remaking beautiful incredibly well done movies into crappy modern flicks?? I don't think this movie should have been remade at all. Diane English is an idiot. I certainly hope that filmmakers are not umping on this remake bandwagon intent on reviving all the classics. Modern takes on classic films have proved to be box-office bombs, and this is certainly no exception. The sad thing is that loads of people who love the original version will go to see this, holding a tiny gleam of hope in their hearts, and will leave angry, having paid their money into the box office, for which their is no recourse. Even if the movie is complete crap, the box office taking are the only sing of a movie's success, despite the fact that over half of the audiences leave in a very bad mood, having just wasted perfectly good money on a terrible film.
The original film made in the 30s is funny and entertaining. This film appears to have been directed/edited by someone who had not read the script. Why bother with Bette Midler without expanding on the link with the cowboy who also falls for Crystal? Why call a character Dorothy Parker with no witty lines? I admire most of the actresses involved and they should have stuck to the original storyline and they could have made a good remake of the original script, but it was perfect as it was. This film will only put people off viewing the much better original version. Shame on you, director, producer, script editors whoever you are.
It was a great movie, one that I was able to watch multiple times because the storyline is intriguing, though it answered the questions that needed to be answered, and left some details about "What happened to..." to the imagination. The dynamics of Mary and Sylvie's friendship was real, and the 4 friends bond was genuine as well. The characters all had an identity which seemed to go beyond the screen. The Women is a drama-- comedy, one which had enough drama to keep me interested, but not too much comedy that the substance of the film was lost, a balance not always achieved in movies today. Definitely a movie you could watch more than once without being bored or losing interest, and the all female cast was an idea that could easily make or break a movie, but casting was not at all an issue, in my opinion.
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