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The Women 08 It's Not A 30's Movie
A.W Richmond12 September 2008
It was an impossible task to update a classic that was embedded in its time and as such could travel the waves of time intact because we could adapt to its historical context. Now this 2008 version seems the one that's dated. I used to love Meg Ryan, reminded me of Carol Lombard now she's more like Joan Rivers, in appearance if not in spirit. There is nothing funny about her. Strangely enough she looks better in the second part of the film. In any case, the modernity of Norma Shearer's performance is unbeatable. Annette Bening is better but couldn't cancel the memory of Rosalind Russell, who could? If one can divorce oneself from the George Cukor original, and one must to be able to sit through it, there are a few pleasures to be had, mostly thanks to Cloris Leachman, Candice Bergen (playing Meg Ryan's mom for the second time, remember "Rich and Famous"?) and Bette Midler in a much to brief stint playing the part once played by Mary Boland. The most unforgivable blunder is Eva Mendes's Crystal. She couldn't fill Joan Crawford's shoes not even by mistake. Her performance is vulgar, jarring and ugly. How strange that someone as smart as Diane English could give us such a confusing picture of women. Oh well, I had to see it, I saw it and I'm very disappointed but hardly surprised.
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Badly Lit Women And Other Problems
katiemeyer197913 September 2008
Insane really. Even if you haven't seen the original George Cukor movie with Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine and a cast of a thousand other stars you may dismiss this forced, politically correct, depressing comedy. Depressing for many different reasons. Meg Ryan for one. What has she done to herself? Her face can hardly move. That alone puts her miles away from Norma Shearer. Annette Bening should be suing the DP and Debra Messing, what the hell was she doing here? Actresses with no connection in the public's subconscious trying to pass for friends, totally unconvincingly. Eva Mendes in the Joan Crawford part is an outrageous piece of miscasting. What a terrible idea! Her character is like a trans-gender performer without any taste or subtlety. Bizarre to think that a woman adapted and directed this women.The only positive things I can mention are a short but very funny appearance by Bette Midler and Cloris Leachman as the housekeeper.
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Paging Rosalind Russell...
davepitts15 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
First, I should say that I've seen the '39 version at least 100 times; know all the dialog, and have read the '36 play, which is different from the '39 and contains nuggets of gold of its own. This version is as flat as a Lifetime movie on adultery. There's a reason you haven't seen an expensive campaign of TV ads for it. According to Entertainment Weekly, Bening hated the catty tone of the original and how the women spent the whole time going to war on each other. GUESS WHAT??! That was Booth's intent. It was a slick, theatrical take on gossip, adultery, and back-biting among a set of well-heeled Manhattan socialites. The crowd that made this new version had no intention of honoring the original source material. They pick at it weirdly, putting in half a scene here and half a scene there that come from the first version. Bette Midler (who is in just a few scenes and acts the old Countess part in a broad, grinning style) doesn't have any context in this version. She mentions going after "Buck," which is a key element in the original -- then he's never mentioned again. This movie is so dull that I'm not going to over-analyze it, but here are a few things that I found unbelievable: > Mary Haines bragging to her domestic staff: "I can suck the nails out of a board!" Right. Great writing. Norma Shearer could've done a line reading on that & gotten an Oscar nom, right? > A COMPASSIONATE Sylvia Fowler!!!??? Annette Bening got what she wanted, and the movie just sort of withers away. Claire Booth used Sylvia as the comic engine that swept through the play. As portrayed immortally by Rosalind Russell, she was an ignorant, spiteful woman who rattled off reams of petty, ridiculous, irresistible dialog that is still classic and quotable. She wasn't above biting Paulette Godard's ankle. The 2008 filmmakers decided that this character had to die. In killing her off, they killed the movie.
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No lessons learned
julietareynal17 September 2008
As a Spanish tourist in Los Angeles and a fanatic movie lover I committed a terrible mistake. I went to see "The Women" The remake of one of my all time favorites. I've seen the original many many times, in fact I own it. My rushing to see the remake was based on Diane English, the woman responsible for "Murphy Brown" My though was: how bad can it be? She must know what she's doing. Well, I don't know what to say. I don't understand what happened. The Botoxed women is a rather depressing affair. Meg Ryan or whoever played Mary - she looked a bit like a grotesque version of Meg Ryan...another actress perhaps wearing a Meg Ryan mask - she doesn't bring to the character nothing of what Norma Shearer did in 1939. The new one is a tired, unconvincing prototype of what has become a farce within a farce. The "friends" Annette Bening, Debra Messing, Jada Pinket Smith are as disconnected as anything I've ever seen and if this wasn't enough: Eva Mendes as Crystal, the character created by Joan Crawford in one of her best and funniest performances. Eva Mendes's casting is really the poster sign for how wrong, how ill conceived this commercial attempt turned up. I didn't give it a 1 out respect for Candice Bergen and Cloris Leachman
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What Women?
maureenmcqueen20 September 2008
To say I was disappointed is an understatement. An amateur film made by professionals. I was about to leave the theater in two or three occasions (something I've never done)I was stopped by Cloris Leachman really. She rings true, the only one I should say. This new women are less modern than the George Cukor women of the 30's. This ones are "acting" for us trying to be with it but their "conflict" is exactly the same as it has always been, in movies anyway. The fun of the original was based on a crisp, vitriolic and very funny script. A masterful direction and an unrepeatable cast. All the elements that are missing here. TV actresses mingling with models and Oscar nominees/winners. There wasn't anything organic about it. The whole thing felt like a put on, improvised in the moment without a clear objective. 2/10
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This misfires by a mile
aharmas13 September 2008
I believe an entire book can be written about the odyssey to remake the classic film on which this film is loosely based. When Hollywood first started talking about such enterprise, the reaction was always negative because there were just too many aspects that could have gone wrong, starting with the solid ensemble that made the original unforgettable, and that's exactly where things begin souring here, with the selection of actresses that otherwise can do remarkable work, but that are not suited to the parts, and sadly enough, have been directed with the heavy hand of a director that doesn't understand or appreciate the source material.

It seems as if there is no focus or direction, or as if the direction that has been taken is to obliterate anything that was good about the original film. This is called an updating, as in let's drain the story out of humor, snappy dialogue, and any interesting premise. Most of all, let's prove that women have come a long way, except that the problem is that we don't really get (at least by watching this film) where the women are truly going.

For starters, casting Meg Ryan in the central role proves almost fatal to the movie because somehow she seems to have locked herself into some sort of limbo where women don't really change appearances, even after 20 years of working in the movies. Her Mary which proved to be a difficult role in the 30's, somehow grew from her interaction with the other stereotypes, like Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" by learning, observing, and realizing that she had a choice in the matter. It might not have been a choice that women would celebrate nowadays, but it was fun ride, and part of the fun, was the catty, silly, sometimes slapstick routines that elevated that movie into the realm of the sublime. In here, we are down to earth with a thud. By changing the nature of Sylvia, the film has lost a lot of its spark, and it isn't in anyway Annette Bening's fault. I couldn't help but admiring how she tried to save this sinking ship and got a sinking feeling as she struggled with the horrible lines she was handled. Thankfully I entertained myself by looking at some of her terrific outfits and kept reminding myself how talented this lady really was. Her Sylvia is wise but flawed, and she could have been a great creation. Unfortunately Ms. English wasn't paying attention to her own work and loses control of the one character that could have turned the film into a fresh direction.

Yet that wasn't the biggest blasphemy of them all. In the original, we have Joan Crawford doing probably one of the best performances by a woman. Her Crystal is legendary, with conniving lines, incendiary moves, duplicitous maneuvers, and some very sexy poses. She was the link between the male and the female, and through her we knew what the whole catastrophe was about. She provided the tension between men and women. She was dangerous, sexy, the ultimate femme fatale. A woman of intelligence that we feared and admired, and most importantly, we wanted to destroy to save our heroine. Eva Mendes, as gorgeous as she is, is two dimensional in this outing because of weak writing, and once again, some bad casting.

There are more atrocities in the film, such as the addition of a terrible role for Mensing as the dedicated mother who lives for having babies, and the rather annoying lesbian turn by Pinkett. Then comes the biggest waste of talent in the movie, as Bette Middler, who is a little unrecognizable in her make up, shows the spark of what could have been. Her acidic delivery reminds us of the contemporary angle the film could have taken. Her words revive and put a big of much needed naughtiness in the film, and it is exciting to see that it could really fly, then she is gone. She is in the film all of six minutes, and she fades away in the middle of the muddle.

Here is a movie that raised our anticipation level and truly disappointed us, a film that could have joined the successful "Sex in the City" who made an amazing transition to the big screen because it respected its source material and didn't compromise. It gave us more, bigger and better adaptation. It truly updated what had made it successful before. "The Women" in its present reincarnation needs to go back and rework itself, much like "The Hulk" did it this year, find more suitable performers, a really good writer, and most of all, someone who truly treasures what good movies are about.
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Sad and shallow
Shannon O'Malley26 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Another Hollywood portrayal of motherhood that is sad and shallow. In this world, Meg Ryan doesn't become much of a mother until she "finds herself" -- through what? A glamorous career of fashion design, of course! It's all about what she wants, don't you know? That's the moral to this story and the real key to happiness in The Women. When Ryan's character was "just" a mom, her preteen daughter just couldn't connect with her, poor thing. But now that she's making the New York scene as a fashion designer, it's all sweetness and light. "Mom, this is so cool!" she fawns lovingly, with new-found admiration for her mother (who basically abandoned her while she was off "finding herself.") And, of course, the cheating husband is SO attracted to her now that's she's focused on herself. Meanwhile, the only mother in the group with more than one offspring is the ridiculous Debra Messing who plays up every possible stereotype of a "breeder." Always pregnant and binge eating, and of course her children are running around wild and screaming in public places. Well, that's what you get for having more than one. Everyone knows having more than one kid is a nightmare, and so demeaning and beneath us as women. And that's just how confining and depressing motherhood is,right? Who in their right mind would want that when she could be the person she was truly meant to be (by being a fashion designer, with great hair, by the way!) It is a sad thing, and misleading, to portray motherhood this way. The truth is that women were made to have and sacrifice for their children. It is the source and meaning of true love. Motherhood is not only the most important thing a woman can ever do, it is the most beautiful and fulfilling, but only when viewed through the eyes of love and self-giving. This movie is supposed to be all about women and getting what they want. Too bad it denies the source of true beauty and happiness: self-giving,the opposite of "all about getting what you want."
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How The Mighty Have Fallen
mike-seaman20 April 2009
I have never seen the original 1930s version of the film, but this remake is one of the worst I have seen from a major production studio in years. Seeing actors such as Meg Ryan and Annette Bening, once near A level talents, sleepwalk their way through poorly scripted roles is painful. There appeared to be no desire to be in front of the camera for anyone in this film.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Debra Messing play worthless roles that have no bearing on the plot and add no entertainment value. Jada Pinkett Smith's character is used as nothing more than a ploy to appear modern, having an African American lesbian character, but in actuality she is there to just look cool. There is no actual reason why Messing in this film other than to fill out the amount of women in the original I take.

The side characters played by Eva Mendes and Debi Mazar are stereotypical female characters, with Mendes portraying the vixen looking to steal the wealthy but bored and mildly neglected husband and Mazar covering the gossip roles.

The movie is boring, lacking charm, humor, or sympathy for any characters. It almost felt like the movie was a punishment for everyone involved, whether in front of or behind the camera.

There is one glimmering hope in the film, however little it is allowed to shine surrounded by the dim and dying stars around it is Cloris Leachman. Leachman is still an amazing talent that brings her remarkable charm and humor to the film, in the small role that she has.
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Horrible movie
choua_lo21 September 2008
I really wish I had read everyone's review before going to see the movie... it was one of the most excruciating films that I've ever seen. I was ready to leave the theater 5 minutes into the movie; I should have followed my instinct. The movie offered nothing new or clever, it was boring and very cliché. I was surprised to find that it was directed by a woman! The characters did not represent any women that I know, they were boring, bitter and melodramatic. The movie was unrealistic and depressing and a waste of time and money. And the actors looked tired, poor make-up and hair styling. It was recently compared to the Sex and in the City movie; it was not even half as good. My suggestion, do not see this movie!
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Preachy Out-dated Propaganda
pastorkevin524 January 2009
I was very disappointed by this movie. Ms English who says that she is a fan of the original movie seemed to have taken a great piece of artistic work, and transformed it into a flat-lined "ho-hum" you've come a long way baby production. I tried to like Meg Ryan's Mary Haines, but she was just boring. She didn't seem to feel anything about her husband's affair. There was no emotional struggle, no deep hurt. In the original 1939 movie Norma Shearer's Mary Haines felt betrayed, shocked, vulnerable, confused and angry. The 2008 production was more about some fake sisterhood theme, (Actually my wife's words)and didn't make you shed a tear or even chuckle. The only performances that were note worthy we're of Debra Messing, and Bette Midler. (I wanted more of Bette.) There was really no protagonist in this movie. The Sylvia Fowler character had too many sub themes to it. And Crystal Allen had no fire. The remake of the department store encounter with Annette Benning, and Miss Mendez was Luke warm. Also the pacing was slow as well. Obviously the 1939 version needed to be updated, but this one wasn't it. The reason that the original version worked so well was that the characters were dealing with "man" problems. A subject by the way which isn't out-dated. The magic of the original movie was that the movie was about both sexes, while you never saw the men.
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The City of Women
Galina28 December 2008
The Women (2008) by Diane English is sadly such a waste of talent. With Annette Benning, Candice Bergen, Bette Midler, Cloris Leachman whom I like and enjoy in everything I've seen them, and Meg Ryan, Jada Pinkett Smith, Debra Messing, and Eva Mendes who may not be my favorite actors but are nice to look at, how could the movie be boring, predictable, embarrassing, sloppy, and simply bad? It was made by Diane English who is known as the writer of the very successful TV show Murphy Brown, and it is her first movie for which she wrote a script. The movie has been a labor of love for English who had tried for many years to make it happen and I respect that. I even found the scenes with the supporting players, Bergen, Leechaman, Carry Fisher and Bette Middler in short but memorable cameos, funny, smart, and enjoyable but in general the movie is a second hand "Sex and the City" which was released few months ago. I did not find Sex and the City very good when I saw it but next to The Women, it was simply brilliant. At least, Sex and the City spared us the long and tasteless scene in the hospital's delivery room where one of the characters' was having a baby and her friends were there supporting her. Poor Debra Messing, what did she do to deserve that nightmare she was put through and we, the viewers together with her? The movies like "The Women" give the whole genre, chick flicks, a bad name. It is nothing wrong with the genre, but why is it so difficult to make a really good comedy about female friendships and hardships, about dealing with marriage, motherhood, and proving yourself professionally? These are all very compelling and important subjects any modern woman can relate to. Why making movies with the lines, dialogs, and situations so clichéd, predictable, not funny and insulting that they will be forgotten as soon as the movie is over?

After I saw the new movie, I checked out from my local library the original The Women and I truly enjoyed it. The story was told much better 70 years ago, and kept my interest all the way. The old movie had a real star power.
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Incredibly Bad
ipanema-girl30 July 2009
No! no - No - NO! My entire being is revolting against this dreadful remake of a classic movie. I knew we were heading for trouble from the moment Meg Ryan appeared on screen with her ridiculous hair and clothing - literally looking like a scarecrow in that garden she was digging. Meg Ryan playing Meg Ryan - how tiresome is that?! And it got worse ... so much worse. The horribly cliché lines, the stock characters, the increasing sense I was watching a spin-off of "The First Wives Club" and the ultimate hackneyed schtick in the delivery room. How many times have I seen this movie? Only once, but it feel like a dozen times - nothing original or fresh about it. For shame!
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Simply a bad movie
richard-17874 January 2009
I rented this because I know the 1939 movie well and wanted to see how it was updated. I sat through the whole thing, but it's really a bad movie.

Let me start by staying that I don't think the 1939 movie is a masterpiece. It has some wonderful scenes, brilliantly directed by George Cukor and brilliantly brought off by a remarkable cast who knew how to deliver bitingly clever dialogue. But there are also maudlin scenes that kill the pacing. An uneven work.

The remake isn't uneven, I'll grant it that. It's uniformly awful all the way through.

To begin with, the characters have no internal coherence, which they most certainly do in the 1939 version. In the remake, it seems that the director did a survey of what would appeal to modern women and then randomly distributed those qualities to the various women in the movie. The modern Chrystal Allen isn't really nasty; unlike in the original, she never betrays Steven Haines. Sylvia Fowler starts off being repulsively self-centered, but then varies back and forth between caring and superficial without ever really being nasty. In fact, NO ONE is really nasty, and that deprives the remake of a lot of the bite of the original.

The modern script is also sadly lacking in humor, unlike the 1939 version. It just isn't that funny. And when it does repeat lines from the original, it is painful to hear how poorly they are delivered.

In short, this movie has nothing to recommend itself. It plays like a mediocre TV show - it was directed by a TV director, so I guess that shouldn't come as a surprise. The 1939 version, though not a masterpiece, remains miles ahead of this sad excuse for a feature film.
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what a foul message to send to young women
vtiff14 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I've never seen the original movie others have commented on, so my perspective is just about this movie without comparison.

I found the message of the movie to be,: if you only worry about yourself, all will be right with the world, everything will fall into place, your lovers will love you more, your friends will respect and like you more, your employers will want you more, pay you more and even your own children and parents will love you more.

I find this message to be reprehensible and totally false.

Kudos for the very funny birthing scene at the end; there isn't a mother out there who won't laugh during that scene.

Overall a very disappointing movie plot. I didn't find myself rooting for anyone in this movie. I thought they were all pathetic self absorbed individuals that I just didn't care what happened to them and that's not a movie people want to see.
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Waste of time.
kookooketchu23 December 2008
This movie is not a comedy. It is not even funny in the "this movie is so bad it's funny" department. Rather, it is just plain bad. Other reviewers mention the bad lighting, but beyond that is the abundance of bad plastic surgery.

Meanwhile, a lot of great acting talent was wasted on a poor screenplay and uninspired direction. The main characters are one-dimensional and boring. (It is hard to feel sympathy for any of them). It is also hard to see the four characters as close friends. It seems like just a bunch of women thrown together, pretending to be close.

I won't list all of the problems with this movie, as it doesn't merit that much of anyone's attention. (Nor is it worth the time it takes to watch it).
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"The Women" review
delwinchester17 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Imagine a film the complete opposite of Lawrence of Arabia, instead of having an all male cast, it has an all female cast. Instead of being set in the barren deserts of Arabia, it is set in the bulging metropolis of New York City. And instead of it being one of the greatest films ever made, it is one of the most pointless, boring and forgettable.

The film concerns Mary Haines (Meg Ryan) a perfect wife and mother, the envy of all others in her high society Manhatten social circle. She is painted as a women bearing the weight of the world on her shoulders, despite the fact she needs a live in nanny and housekeeper to cope with her one child. But I don't want to be too hard on her, Mary does all this whilst taking a liassez-faire attitude towards the fashion designing job her father has given her. This idyllic lifestyle cannot last forever though and things start to crash in a very real way.

Mary's husband is cheating on her and her father fires her for not working hard enough. She is quite naturally upset and breaks down a little.

Mary needs to bounce back though, for the sake of her impressionable young daughter and for herself. She does this through rehab, hair straightening and designing her own line of clothes; though amazingly for this kind of film, not a montage. Mary succeeds; her daughter loves her, her mother loves her, her friends love her and her husband decides he loves her now. She decides to take her cheating husband back after realising it was her fault he cheated, as she didn't dote on him enough.

The films one saving grace is that it doesn't go down the "all men are evil" route.
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The Worst
GayActivist15 September 2008
I saw it tonight and fell asleep in the movie.

That is something that I have not done since - I have never fallen asleep at the movies.

I LOVE the original and have seen it several times and recommend it to everyone. This may have been the problem but I do not think so, because there were a couple of bright spots that showed if done right they could have made this movie work.

Bette was under used and Anne was over used and miscast.

I do not know why English or anyone for that matter let this go out in that condition.

They billed this as a Sex in the City but better? Not a chance I liked Sex in the City a lot and was disappointed by this movie.

So do not waste your money on this movie - go see anything but this!
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This movie is offensive to women
mrkfolio17 December 2014
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.
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Re: Benning should sue
Agatha66622 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I am a big fan of the original not because I believe that the antiquated story line makes sense for anyone much less women in modern society, I am a fan because of that great scene with Joan Crawford in the bathtub. I love that bathroom. I was dragged to this remake by a friend knowing that it would be disappointing. Horrid, is more like it! First of all, it looks like they lit the whole film with florescent lighting and those shots of Annette Bennings hands, she should sue! I think this was really a remake of the Valley of the Dolls and they just mislabeled the prints. Meg Ryan has lost her spunk and is completely flat on screen, Debra Messing's character is dressed like a bag lady, Eva Mendez compared to Joan Crawford (need I say more), just terrible. Terrible performances, it felt at times that the cast was trying to remember their lines. The dialogue was trite and boring. And to top it all off, instead of making some adjustments to the story to make it work for the modern woman, they left it with Meg Ryan blaming herself for her husbands infidelity and falling wonderfully in love with the cheating schmuck because after all it is not enough to have an extremely successful clothing line, a wonderful daughter and tons of money, you have to have a man! Nightmare! Rent Sex and the City instead which makes you want to jump on a plane and spend the weekend in Manhatten with the girls.
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The Sit-Com Factor
cecif28 September 2008
This film could have been a decent re-make, and gosh knows it tried (or Ms. English tried). Assembling talented actors together with a successful & experienced writer/director should be a formula for a decent film. But Ms. English's experience - according to her IMDb bio - is exclusively limited to television work, and it is glaringly obvious throughout this film.

I am surprised that none of the reviews I have read mention what I found most unlikeable about this film, and what kept it from reaching even a portion of its potential: it looked and felt like it was made for television. To give some credit to Ms. English, many of the jokes that simply did NOT work on a movie screen would have been terrific on TV (and maybe a laugh track would have helped). So much of the camera usage and the lighting would have played out fine on TV but looked awkward or odd on a big screen. If the whole film had been chopped up into a mini-series or a sit-com, I think it could have worked. But this is cinema and sadly Ms. English's talents didn't translate. I cringed at so many different points in my embarrassment for the actors & the writers that I felt like I came out of the theater half shriveled! Meg Ryan is her usual perky, cute self (except for the awful plastic surgery she has had on her face), but where did she have a chance to use her talent?! She has made films where she doesn't recreate her stereo-typed role and done them well... but not here. Annette Bening seemed to simply go through the motions - such a great talent and yet such a poor performance! I enjoyed the other women characters but they were more caricature than substance, and it was sad to see. What worked in this film in the 1930s doesn't translate to the 2000s, and no one helped Ms. English get the changes & updates or subtleties right. If only she (as writer, director AND producer) had reached out for some assistance, I think it could have been good. But it was not.

It's so frustrating to go to a movie that has good stars and a good writer or director and come away feeling it was a waste of everyone's time & money! This New Yorker cartoon I saw yesterday is appropriate: A few movie execs are having a meeting & the caption reads: "Let's remake a classic with worse everything!"
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Best if you don't think about the original
michael-320413 April 2009
"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.
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"We shouldn't Talk down to women" - Mission Unaccomplished
aanderberg26 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was confusing more than anything else. I still can't figure out what the message is of this movie and more so, who the target audience is?

As this is a remake (which I have not seen) maybe it's so bad because the dialogue is outdated? Or is the target audience 19-year old girls that might grab this excuse of a film at 2 for 1 Sex and the City-night?

What happened to Candace Bergen? - As Meg Ryans mother she provided an intelligent balance in rhetorics and dialog but at the end of the movie she has transformed to a babbling, botoxed and victimized housewife. And the Jada Pinkett Smith character as the gay friend who in her womanizer, spread-leg, shot-drinking self is so over the top trying to portray a lesbian that it makes me think that the director never met a gay woman in her life! Why else would she portray this WONDERFUL actress as a foul mouthed macho man?

I can't even comment on the Eva Mendez character. Ms Mendez is a fantastic actress who in her prior roles has done nothing but added "Girl Power" to the row of the typical Hollywood vamp. She is a sexy, beautiful, strong Latina who in this movie comes off as nothing but a victim. I think the idea was to portray her as the conniving snake who steal other womens husbands - and that's fine. But she comes off as nothing but stupid with the attention span of a tween.

If this movie's target audience are adult women, it makes me nothing less than ANGRY. Did the director think that we, the women, are that uninvolved? Incredibly heavy subjects were brought up but all the director did was throw fluff at it. The subject matter of friendship betrayal for example - the entire movie could have been dedicated to it! You have 4 very different women with extreme circumstances. Each one of them could have developed a different solution or cope with the problem and actually have HELPED someone.

Do NOT watch this movie. It is a complete waste of time.

Please excuse any errors. English is not my first language.
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Terrible waste of a great cast
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.
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clunky, ugly, painful & boring
AutumnAlice17 September 2008
please do not waste your time, money or life by seeing this film.

i don't know what possessed me. a friend invited me so i thought i'd go with an open mind. i am not exaggerating - it was the most painful experience of my life.

these are just a tiny fraction of my reasons for my opinion:

1 - there was nothing likable about any of the characters. they were all 1 dimensional, boring, stereotypical, very unattractive etc etc

2 - the script was the most clunky, forced, unbelievable piece of writing i have ever bore witness to. and i have seen a lot of 'poundshop classic'.

3 - there was not a single man in it. not even a walk on / extra part. i know that was obviously a really radical girl-power idea by the director but its a stupid idea. and its not even radical.

4 - on the subject of extras, if you do happen to watch this shocker, observe the extras. they are the funniest part of the film.

5 - i can't believe that this film was directed by a women. I'm sure she doesn't know any women or has never interacted with one.

6 - meg Ryan's hair, meg Ryan's face. in no particular order.

7 - Bette Midler played Bette Midler.

8 - the terrible, unbearable scene when Midler offered a joint to Ryan. why oh why.

9 - potentially good films don't get the backing to get made because money goes into awful drivel like this.

10 - the bags under Eva Mendes' eyes.

i have not seen the original so i am not some anti-remake type. my favourite film is a remake. i just hated this film so much it makes me want to say a swear. its not even one of those films that you have to check out just to see how bad it really is. please take my word for it and leave it at that. don't even watch it when its on TV. pretend it doesn't exist because i certainly will.
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The Women
Jackson Booth-Millard9 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I saw the trailer for this film and remembered many big female stars in the cast, it is based on an original 1939 film directed by George Cukor, I knew it was rated two out of five stars by critics, but I was still intrigued by what it would involve. Basically clothing designer Mary Haines (Razzie nominated Meg Ryan) appears to be the perfect woman, living in beautiful suburban Connecticut with wealthy Wall Street financier husband Steven and eleven year old daughter Molly (India Ennenga), she is kind, and she can balance her work, including voluntary, and family. Mary's best friend since college is New York City fashion magazine editor Sylvie Fowler (Razzie nominated Annette Bening), who is unsure what to do when she finds out, from chatty manicurist Tanya (Batman Forever's Debi Mazar), that Mary's husband is involved with perfume salesgirl Crystal Allen (Razzie nominated Eva Mendes). Sylvie confides in heavily pregnant Edie Cohen (Razzie nominated Debra Messing) what to do as she still cannot bring herself to tell Mary, but Mary finds out for herself getting a manicure from chatty Tanya, her mother Catherine (Miss Congeniality's Candice Bergen) urges her to keep quiet for a while, but Mary ignores her and confronts Crystal first, then Steven and asks for a divorce. Sylvie, Edie and lesbian writer Alex Fisher (Razzie nominated Jada Pinkett Smith) come together to support Mary, but Sylvie faces losing her job, and after conspiring with local gossip columnist Bailey Smith (Carrie Fisher) the friendship between her and Mary is ended because of her betrayal, but Sylvie is the one who daughter Molly confides in while ditching school and her distracted mother distances herself. With the financial assistance of Catherine, after being fired by her father, Mary gets a makeover and decides to open her own clothing design firm, getting her life back in order she is also able to reconnect with her daughter, who talks about what she knew about her father's relationship with Crystal, and Mary reunites with Slvie who has quit her job. Mary sets out to repair her marriage and unveils her new line of womenswear in a fashion show, with Annie Lennox's "Money Can't Buy It" playing, attended by boutique owners and a buyer from Saks Fifth Avenue, Sylvie reveals she has met the right man and plans to give him her phone number, and Edie has her waters break and goes into labour. During the labour Mary gets a call from Steven and arranges with him to go on a date, Edie gives birth to a baby boy, and in the end the four friends Mary, Sylvie, Edie and Alex are on the cover of a new magazine started by Sylvie, called "Sylvie", Alex publishes her book, there is a hint Crystal is dating Alex's ex-girlfriend Natasha (Natasha Alam), and the women all talk about the joys, heartaches and uniquely special triumphs of being a woman. Also starring Bette Midler as Leah Miller, Young Frankenstein's Cloris Leachman as Maggie, Boogie Nights' Joanna Gleason as Barbara, Lynn Whitfield as Glenda Hill and Ana Gasteyer as Pat. It is nice to see all the big name female stars on screen together, but it is the same old chestnut, the star power ultimately rules this picture, there is hardly any effort to make laughs, and the rest is either trying engage with silly womens' problems (no pun intended) and bitchiness, and even sillier sentimentality, I will definitely have to see the 1939 original version, a bland and rather forgettable comedy drama. Adequate!
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