Long popular with audiences and actresses alike, "The Women" plays as a ridiculous period piece today. The bitchy dialogue is fun for a scene or two, but eventually it becomes a case of diminishing returns. The story revolves around a group of idle society women gossiping, trading husbands, and gossiping about trading husbands. Clare Booth Luce's attitude toward her characters is an enigma: one moment she's clearly ridiculing their idle pettiness, the next clearly admiring their resilience in a powerless state. This production of the play is a high-quality one; the only casting complaint I have is Kristen Johnston. While she's undeniably both a comedic tornado and a good actress, she overwhelms her part here. Best among the cast is Jennifer Coolidge, who has become one of the most important comedic character actresses in Hollywood today. All this talent is pretty much wasted in this fluff piece, however; even viewed as an artifact of a different time "The Women" is of no great impact.
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