Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"The Women"

Diane English's 2008 "The Women" is supposedly a remake of George Cukor's 1939 "The Women," but aside from the same basic plot framework, the two barely share any similar characteristics. While the original film was a fairly vicious indictment of the most merciless of the fairer sex, filled with razor sharp dialogue and wicked performances to be relished, the remake has been made in an age when women can only be center stage when they're being "celebrated" so needless to say, it plays like a kinda dull variation on *shocker* "Sex and the City." The movie's by no means awful, like the reviews have indicated (One of the worst movies you've ever seen, Richard Schickel? Come on, take your anti-hyperbole pills), but it's hard to ignore that it's just not very interesting to watch, and offers nothing resembling satiric edge or bite. Of our five titular women (including antagonist Eva Mendes), Annette Bening's the one who delivers the best performance, and Jada Pinkett Smith's the one we wish we had more of (I can count the number of scenes she appears in on one hand). Debra Messing is basically playing Kristen Davis's shrill and perky Charlotte archetype, and as such, I wanted to punch her. While I comment the filmmakers for sticking to their "no men, not even in the background" gimmick, it all registers as an uncomfortable mix of mopey and girl-powery, hardly what made the original film legendary.


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