|Page 4 of 13:||            |
|Index||125 reviews in total|
Mary Haines (Meg Ryan) has a big luncheon for all the high society
women and her friends. Her husband cheats on her with Saks salesgirl
Crystal Allen (Eva Mendes), and her friend Sylvie Fowler (Annette
Bening) knows it. Her world falls into chaos when she finds out, and
the affair continues.
This is a remake of the 1939 movie made from a play. There are only female actors and female characters in the movie. I guess it's suppose to make a statement, but whatever statement it made in 1939, it no longer makes today. The dialog has a lot of superficiality in it, and the characters are stereotypes. It's all very 'Sex in the City', and it does not start off well. The problem is that when something actually happens, the seriousness is lost.
Haines finding out about the affair could have been a very compelling story. It's nothing ground breaking, but going through it without a male character in sight is interesting. Her teen girl could be a great avenue for an emotional story. But it is all very fake. It's all very weak. It's not daring enough. Director Diane English has made a big screen unfunny sitcom with some pretty good actresses.
Much Woody Allen style soul-searching and social satire surrounds this
fairly simple story about an upscale she-pack who discover that one of
their members has a cheating husband. And, of course, they need to
provide her with emotional, if not moral, support.
The surreal gimmick in this film is that, with one exception, the entire cast of The Women is female, not just the major players but the extras. All the waiters and diners in a crowded restaurant are women. We are not, however, talking about a female version of The Hunt for Red October because there are men central to the story even if they are talked about like Niles Crane's Maris, never seen or heard. And that's just as well because they are the bastards who cheated. When Mary (Meg Ryan) finally throws out her philandering husband, the confrontation is relayed second-hand to us via the maid. The daughter watches sadly as dad's possessions are tossed out on the lawn.
A more accurate title would have been The New York City Women because of the sad plight of that particular demographic who find that men and love are getting to be a scarce commodity. The invisible men in this film are a metaphor for real-life statistics. In NYC men are only 47 percent of the population. In college 40 percent are men. Even fewer of them want to get married. And of the ones who will marry, half will stray. Is it any wonder that women might have the feeling that men are disappearing? Mothers in fly-over land laugh at these big-city broads agonizing over the balance of career and family because even though they may have never been to Saks, at least their daughters aren't smoking cigarettes to keep their weight down, getting tattoos or studying to be hookers. Mary barely gives her daughter the time of day but kids need pretty much full-time adult supervision. With absent fathers and mothers who divide their time between boutiques, career and lunch with friends, the supervision is getting pretty spotty.
It isn't really the women who are at fault, it's the men. Back around 1968 women knew what they wanted, they wanted to get married and have children. How tedious and boring. The guys have always known what they want -- boys just want to have fun. They bought the message of their leader, Hugh Hefner, and suckered women with a Three-Card Monte game of "feminism". Women thought they were picking the Queen of Diamonds but got the Joker instead.
Some people might think this obsession women have with love, relationships and marriage is somehow trivial but it really is the most important thing in the world. The birth rate in the Western world is declining and has fallen below the replacement rate in several countries. We worry about declining populations of Spotted Owls or White Whales but what about the White Human? The final minute of this film makes it clear, if we don't get this business right, not only will the men disappear but all of us will.
Next to the overt commercialization (branded products throughout the entire running time) what I found most irritating about 'The Women' was the forced modernization and the caricaturing of these so-called modern women. The film is full of clichés: a) 4 girlfriends where one is a workaholic, one loves children, one is a desperate housewife and then the token black friend and token lesbian friend (these two are combined into one character). b) branded products appearing constantly. c) less focus on the friend who likes babies. d) portraying modern women as whiny e) the irritating teen daughter etc etc. Some of the characters and their subplots look forced, like the Bette Midler track. English's direction feels rushed and had she focused on character and plot development rather than which brands to get on screen, 'The Women' might have ended up being something slightly more meaningful. However, the film does have its share of good points. It was fun to watch so many hot and talented actresses share the screen. That can hardly ever be a bad thing. There are no men in the movie, which I don't mind and the title suggests it anyway. 'The Women' suggests being about the four friends but the focus seems to be only on Mary and Sylvia. Meg Ryan does a decent job. Her role is similar to what she played in 'In The Land Of Women' (which was a far superior movie) where she did a phenomenal job. Likewise, Annette Bening too does an equally good job but these are far from her and Ryan's best. Poor Debra Messing hardly has a role but she does make you chuckle in a few sequences. I feel even sorrier for Jada Pinkett who has nothing more to do than play the token black-and-lesbian friend. I felt it was Cloris Leachman who acted best as Mary's housekeeper. Her comic timing and response are wonderful. Eva Mendes nails her part as the other woman. Candice Bergen, Carrie Fisher, Bette Midler and Debi Mazar are nice additions. Perhaps this movie is strictly for fans of the actresses because I wasn't as bothered by it as many others and I do not think it's among the worst films but it's far from great.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Debi Mazer, Debra Messing and Cloris Leachman were great in this film.
Eva Mendes was also pretty damn funny. JP Smith was too "hood" to be
believable in that group.
I appreciated the problems Annette Bening was having at work, with an assistant who was smarter than she was and the pressures to perform and please her boss. It was nice to see something more complex than "Think Pink" and martini luncheons. Her career brought her real issues.
The problem with this film was Meg Ryan's character. She was having a marital problem but she wasn't at fault in any way even when her friends suggested at dinner that she might be part of the problem. At the end of the film, the only fault she can acknowledge to her husband is that she gave up her career (a problem now solved) for her marriage. Where is the character development? Why would her husband come back to her? She's a spoiled brat.
How fortunate for the brat that Candice has "that inheritance she never used" hanging around somewhere so Meg's character could rent the large workspace and all the assistants. "No, Mom, I couldn't accept that,well, OK".
Meg straightens her hair, makes up with Annette, starts a business overnight, yells at her mysteriously contrite husband on the phone. Problem solved! This film has some nice, fairly complex statements to make but the only thing Meg learns is "I shouldn't have given up my career". Too easy. Cloris should have spanked her and sent her to her room.
Sure, Mendes' character is spoiled but at least she's sexier. Advice to non-appearing husband: Stay with Eva till Meg's character grows up. Use condoms!
I am a huge sex and the city fan, and love Madonna for 20+ years...even
as a male watching this movie, I must say ladies, this movie is awful.
At first I just thought it was sex and the city on steroids, but then
it only got worse. I kept watching because it had such a super
cast..Meg Ryan -who I just adore, Eva Mendez-what a babe, and even Bet
Midler..awesome woman. And I would bust at least a tear during anything
remotely tear jerking, and not one drop for this movie.
I rented this movie knowing that I love most chick flicks..and the cast sold the damn thing. After watching 80% of it I finally had to say ENOUGH!
Do not waste time watching this movie, I have never commented on a movie before, until this piece of crap! If you love Meg Ryan and Eva Mendez, and Bet Midler...do not watch this movie, you will want to drop their actress rating immediately, and you really don't wanna do that. I feel a little embarrassed for them right now. Such weak parts! They should have never submitted themselves to the worst movie I have seen, and I hate horror flicks. Enough said.
I expected much more of this movie. When you see the cast you do expect a lot. And what did I get? Disappointment. I'm very sorry to say this but Meg Ryan did not show her best. Neither did the writers. I mean, which woman would totally neglect her child while divorcing her husband? The chemistry between the actors is bad, the story so unconvincing, I mean, she makes some clothes and then one of the biggest stores hires her and says that her clothes will be sold country wide?come on! And one other thing, Meg is the one who dresses worst in the movie and she becomes to be a great fashion designer? The only fun thing about the movie is the fact that no male actors appear just until the end of the movie, and then a newborn boy appears and all the women come around him as it is the most precious thing in the world-the man, not the baby. Babies are precious I mean. Anyway, I expected much much more from this movie.
You may experience trouble sleeping or may feel sad for no reason days after watching. I sat through the movie with my husband who suggested we see it. Maybe because he thought I'd like it? The very first scene where Annette's character walks into Saks and has a military type shopping timer, zoom function and fake handbag identifier- I knew I was in for two hours of pain. The movie made me feel that women are supercilious, trite, weak creatures that use manipulation or wise-ass comments to communicate. I'm more hurt and disgusted that another woman would represent us like this. The acting was 'campy'. You'll need a shower to wash off the despair you'll feel. Am I being too harsh?
When I saw that a TV station was airing a REMAKE of The Women, last
night, I anticipated the worst--after all, the stylish original from
the 1930's was such fun, that I couldn't imagine how any modern remake
could possibly live up to it. I expected it would be so dreadful and
politically correct that I'd turn it off within 20 minutes and go to
Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by a film which was engaging and enjoyable, and which, while BORROWING many of the plot elements from the older film, retold a rather different story, and adhered, almost in a playful manner, to some of the "disciplines" of the original movie, such as never allowing a male to appear on screen.
What really saves this movie is the first-rate performance of Annette Bening, who plays a character named Sylvia Fowler, but who otherwise is a completely different woman from the broad clown character Rosalind Russell created in the older film, with an utterly different story. A similarly successful "transplant" is of Mary Haines' mother, here portrayed wonderfully by Candice Bergen--and another is the role of Edie, here played by Debra Messing (who does give us the sort of broad clowning that we had for that role in the old movie).
One real DISAPPOINTMENT in these updated roles was Bette Midler, who played the character corresponding to the Countess de Lave, expansively and noisily played by Mary Boland in the old movie. The script didn't go into the fun sub-plot of the Countess's boyfriend and his infidelities, and so this character, and its very fortunate casting, remain very tangential; similarly, Cloris Leachman manages to rescue a microscopic role of one of Mary's household staff--but should have been given much more to play with.
Meg Ryan, although turning in a fine performance, is somewhat eclipsed by the talents around her.
However, even though it lacks the style and impact of the classic film, I enjoyed this remake quite a bit, and can recommend it. It won't spoil the old film for you--it's too different from it--and yet, will give you several of your favorite moments from the old film refreshed and renewed, as well as a very different approach to others.
Don't bother. It's awful -- the script and the acting. Given the stellar cast, I expected better, especially from Annette Bening. Cloris Leachman was good, and that's about it. Interestingly, two of the scenes of the ladies walking down the sidewalk past high-end shops were filmed in Boston on Newbury Street. One of those scenes has Burberrys in the background. The characters seemed wooden. Even Bette Midler was a disappointment, though she didn't have a great script. And Eva Mendez was horrible...just horrible. For comparison, see the 1939 version if you haven't. It's much tighter, better acted, better filmed and better scripted.
prologue: just wanted to tell you something about this film. i went to
the pictures with 2 of my colleagues and thought, that the evening will
be funny. i was really wrong! piece of advice: if you want to view a
movie, and the who validates your ticket welcomes you with the phrase
"sincere condolences" - just duck and run! in the meantime i know, that
he was right! this film - i saw it in German - was a waste of time. and
a waste of money, too! perhaps, it's only in German, that the film has
no central theme, but i don't think, that the translation has been made
after these 1,5 hours of sitting in the cinema, i had no clue, what they were talking about. they talk so much, that you won't get a chance to follow any story (if there was any?).
in my honest opinion: this film is more than crap. not even the actresses like bette midler, meg ryan and eva mendes could give this movie a better rating.
|Page 4 of 13:||            |
|Plot summary||Plot synopsis||Ratings|
|Awards||External reviews||Parents Guide|
|Official site||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|