Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Women, or How it's SatC... on Valium

The Women
Written and Directed by Diane English
Meg 'past her prime' Ryan, 
Annette 'no one does deadpan better than me' Benning, 
Debra 'I own a monopoly on gay sidekicks' Messing, 
Jada 'token black lesbian' Pinkett-Smith, 
Eva 'wtf is wrong with my face?' Mendes 
and Candice 'yes that's MISS Murphy Brown to you b**ch' Bergen.

The problem with The Women is that it resembles its main star too much. Diane English's 'remake' of Cukor's 1939 (and highly superior!) The Women is as bland, as passé and as unlikable as Ms Ryan (or as her fashion collection on screen - or the entire colour palette of the film for that matter!) And that's a problem. Especially when the marketing department so forcefully wants us to take this as a Sex and the City phenom. But it would seem someone has slipped some valium into our Cosmo because this movie feels so subdued it might not even have a pulse. Meg plays a Connecticut wife who gets cheated on by her husband - and the film follows her as she 'deals' with this and 'finds herself.' The Benning and co. play her circle of friends - always there to help her through her hard times. Annette is trying her best with the material she's given, Debra is trying to work with the material she wasn't given and Jada is overacting like hell in a role that so unabashedly screams 'TOKEN' it leaves no room for "funny." (Don't even get me started on Middler's overacting, Mendes' shrill performance, Bergen's non-character and the array of secondary characters that riff on every stereotype ever created: the hun/angry supermodel, the foreign maid, the Queens' nail-girl...) English's screenplay feels so outdated and so out of touch with the type of world she is trying to create that it was no surprise I found myself laughing outloud only a handful of times... less times, of course, than when I found myself cringing as I heard zinger after alleged zinger fall flat. I'll stick with the original thank you very much Meg! D

1 comment:

Jason said...

You're impossible to please! I thoroughly enjoyed The Women. Meg looks fantastic, Annette was fabulous and who is Jada? Yes, I'm that good at filtering when I put my mind to it.

The clothes were amazing in a very welcome, non-Patricia Field way and Meg's show was hot! Narciso never disappoints (though I'm still mulling over Julia Louis Dreyfus's Emmy gown).