Emma Woodhouse seems to be perfectly content, a loving father whom she cares for, friends, and a home. But Emma has a terrible habit - matchmaking. She cannot resist finding suitors for her... See full summary »
Jonny Lee Miller
Straight-laced Rose breaks off relations with her party girl sister, Maggie, over an indiscretion involving Rose's boyfriend. The chilly atmosphere is broken with the arrival of Ella, the grandmother neither sister knew existed.
An uptight, conservative, businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family's annual Christmas celebration and finds that she's a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life.
Sarah Jessica Parker,
I love Hollywood insider satires, and this is a great one, with convincing atmosphere and characters. Messing is delicious as a high-functioning Hollywood wife who is dumped by her narcissistic and spoiled movie executive husband after catering to his every need and whim efficiently for years. Needless to say, he's dumping her for a bimbo -- a Britney Spears-ish singer/starlet. In a self-imposed exile in the Malibu home of her oldest friend (Judy Davis), she meets an enigmatic surfer (Stephen Moyer) and has an ambiguous flirtation with her husband's boss, studio head Joe Mantegna. The triangle is very, very satisfying -- you're not quite sure which of these men you want her to end up with, and you like them both.
Dropped instantly by all the grasping, climbing manipulators and their wives, non-person Molly ends up falling back on her core of friends -- the wife of a director whose husband wants her to to drop Molly for tactical reasons, her wealthy dipso friend, and her gay decorator friend (Chris Diamantopoulos, who is broke after having to eat the cost of 12 hideous custom chairs a client insisted upon and then wouldn't pay for). She also becomes friends with the young black woman who works as the Malibu compound's security guard, and her mother. At one point, they all end up holed up in Judy Davis's house, like the treehouse crew in "The Grass Harp." The series is very well directed (by Jon Avnet) and the characters are very sharply drawn. Messing's husband is a monster of selfishness, but not consistently so, and he can't let go his habit of calling on Molly for (now inappropriate) favors. There isn't a line or a bit of business that Messing doesn't play to the hilt. Again and again Molly demonstrates the resourcefulness and elan that makes her husband such a fool for ditching her. There's a scene where she catches a cricket her husband has assigned his executive assistant to remove from the house (until she locates the annoying insect, she can't attend her grandfather's 80th birthday party) in no time flat that was particularly piquant.
This is a woman's story, but I think a lot of men will appreciate the sardonic portrait of a materialistic and phony Hollywood milieu, and I don't know how anybody could not want to look at all these gorgeous residences.
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