5.4/10
695
19 user 7 critic

Woman Wanted (1999)

A new woman comes between a widower and his adult son.

Director:

Kiefer Sutherland

Writers:

Joanna McClelland Glass (novel), Joanna McClelland Glass (screenplay)
Reviews
2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Holly Hunter ... Emma Riley
Kiefer Sutherland ... Wendell Goddard
Michael Moriarty ... Richard Goddard
Carrie Preston ... Monica
Allegra Fulton ... Gracie
Shirley Douglas ... Peg
Sean McCann ... Kevin
Jackie Richardson ... Lydia
Jordan Zalis Jordan Zalis ... Raymond (at 13)
Richard Eden ... Michael
Jonathan Barrett Jonathan Barrett ... Daniel
Joanna McClelland Glass Joanna McClelland Glass ... Ariadne (as Joanna Glass)
Elaine Pigden Elaine Pigden ... Marion
Rhiannon Benedict Rhiannon Benedict ... Betsy (as Valerie Wynne)
Mauralea Austin Mauralea Austin ... Maggie
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Storyline

Story of a woman (Hunter) who comes to work as a housekeeper for a widower (Moriarty) and his grown son (Sutherland) and of their attachment to her to the point that she is asked by the father to marry... to the dismay of the son who also loves her. But the animosity of the two men toward each other is finally resolved when she becomes intentionally pregnant, possibly by one or the other as she goes to bed with both men within a matter of days, causing neither to win her for himself, but both to become bound together because of the child. Written by BOB STEBBINS <stebinsbob@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 August 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Desmotes tou pathous See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Last film to use the Alan Smithee credit as a directorial credit before the pseudonym was discontinued the following year. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Richard Goddard: [answering the phone] Hello.
Emma Riley: Hello. I'm calling from Boston about your ad in The Globe.
Richard Goddard: Oh, yes.
Emma Riley: It says woman wanted, live in. Why are you advertising in Boston when you live in New Haven?
Richard Goddard: Actually I grew up with an Irish nanny. She was kind and generous and pleasant to be with.
Emma Riley: Are you married?
Richard Goddard: I'm widowed. I have a son in his twenties who's uh... he's going through some difficulties. He lives at home, and we need someone to help put our house in order.
See more »


Soundtracks

Everything I Have Is Yours
Written by Burton Lane and Harold Adamson
Performed by Billy Eckstine
Courtesy of EMI Music Publishing
See more »

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User Reviews

Unique character study, flawed but fascinating
10 December 2000 | by jessfinkSee all my reviews

This remarkably nuanced film directed by Kiefer Sutherland succeeds in many places. Handsomely and sensitively shot, it suggests many small films by more acclaimed directors, and is far more confident than any impression of Sutherland's work to date would make it reasonable to expect.

While working at a NYC-based talent agency, I had the pleasure of assisting the agent to Carrie Preston, who shines like a jewel in this movie. When the role was offered to Carrie, the film was already in production in Canada, and my boss was out of town, so I had to frenziedly get the script to Preston, work out the details of Carrie's deal with the agent covering in LA, and get her on a plane in the space of a few days.

I spent the better part of one Saturday copying the script. I took it home and read it, wondering what the hell could be worth all of the inconvenience...seeing the finished piece, nearly three years after it was filmed makes it all worthwhile...Preston's utterly spontaneous, natural, courageously unvain performance is a triumph for an actress who works steadily in the NY theater and gets far too few film roles. As Sutherland's girlfriend, she conveys a litany of emotion in a single glance, and nails her role as a young, haplessly confused and conflicted woman cold.

Sutherland triumphs in two ways; by sparing nothing in his unsympathetic portrayal of the sullen, withdrawn, unbearably moody Wendell Goddard while keeping the melodrama firmly in check. His directorial restraint and maturity keep his character's presence in the film to a minimum, and the film and his character are both better served by it.

Michael Moriarty delivers a lovely performance as Richard Goddard, the buttoned-up, widowed patriarch of a dysfunctional New England family, loving his son while having absolutely no idea who he is or what to do with him.

Emma Riley arrives, played flawlessly by Holly Hunter, as the "woman" desired in the title, to take charge of the large old house inhabited by the two men who barely know one another. Predictably, her charm and honesty pierce the veil of WASP coolness, and she brings warmth and intimacy back to the lives of the two closed men.

The charm and good intentions of this film are hard to deny. Love for the project shines like sunlight through every crack in the tightly written script, from the book of the same name. Earnest work from the four principals is satisfying, yet overall, the film feels slightly glib and trite once you are away from it for a few hours. I was enthralled while watching it, really relishing the chance to view some stellar work by some very good actors, and yet, something about it is predictable and slightly disappointing once some of the spell it wove about me wore off.

Overall, I think this is well worth finding on cable or in your video store. Richly written characters make some of the overly metaphoric shots worth enduring, and the dead-on performances are a rare pleasure indeed. A flawed tale of emotional development and the importance of love and communication. Very nice work.


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