Friday, January 24, 2014
The Women (2008) [PG-13] **
Happily-married Mary (Meg Ryan) has a wealthy husband, an adorable 11-year-old daughter, a beautiful country home and a part-time career designing clothes for her father's company. Her best friend Sylvie (Annette Bening) is the editor of Cachet fashion magazine, with an enviable life as one of New York's most sought-after arbiters of style and taste. Their circle of friends includes the perennially-pregnant supermom Edie (Debra Messing) and the openly-lesbian author Alex (Jada Pinkett-Smith); the women spend their days at fashion shows and beauty salons, sharing gossip.
Then they discover that Mary's husband is having an affair with Crystal (Eva Mendes), the sexy spritzer girl at the Saks Fifth Avenue perfume counter. They vow to keep the story in the vault, and Mary's mother (Candice Bergen) advises her to ignore the affair. But Sylvie urges Mary to confront Crystal; it goes badly and Mary files for divorce. Then Sylvie confirms the rumor to a tabloid editor (Carrie Fisher) who, in an unrelated subplot, is blackmailing Sylvie, and the story makes the tabloid's front page. Remorseful Sylvie confesses her disloyalty to Mary, who can't forgive her. Left without either a husband or a best friend, Mary escapes to an upstate spa where she gets some sage advice from a pot-smoking guest (Bette Midler) and realizes that she doesn't really know who she is or what she wants out of life. The third act of the film is Mary's voyage of self-discovery, and her emergence as a dress designer.
Film critics have generally panned this uneven remake, written and directed by Diane English; some scenes sparkle while others are artificial, melodramatic or sugary. Essentially it's a story of female empowerment, full of cliches, with a lot of talking, hugging and finding oneself, and with no memorable dialog. But, as one film critic cleverly noted, if you lower your expectations and simply imagine that The Women is a future sequel to Sex and the City, with Meg Ryan as Carrie, Jada Pinkett-Smith as Samantha, Annette Bening as Miranda and Debra Messing as Charlotte, you might just be satisfied.
Labels: comedy, drama
Internet Movie Database
Tomatometer (critics=13, viewers=37)