Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Women

Movie name: The Women
Year of release: 2008
Director: Diane English
Stars: Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Candice Bergen, Cloris Leachman, Carrie Fischer, Bette Midler, Debi Mazar, India Ennenga
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 3

Synopsis:Diane English is mostly well known for creating "Murphy Brown", the long running sitcom that brought so many awards to Candice Bergen (and helped define a whole new meaning for professional single women in the 90s). When the project to remake the film "The Women" was discussed, a lot of actresses were disputed and considered for the main roles, but ultimately the cast settled on Meg Ryan, no longer the draw name she once was in the 90s, and the always fantastic Annette Bening. Whereas the original "The Women" from 1939, directed by George Cukor, is now considered a classic, when Diane English adapted the screenplay, she apparently forgot to bring the characters to the current reality (or for that matter, add some dimension to them). The film follows Mary Haines, a fashion designer working for her father's company, who learns that her husband is having an affair with a perfume counter girl. All the while her friends also know this and are trying to prevent her from having a meltdown. The problem with this film isn't the fact that it just draws sketches of characters, not people, but that the stereotypes that it presents are just so incredibly dated and without relevance. In the end all it takes for Meg Ryan's character to come around is straighten her hair, have two or three facial expressions and the film is sorted out. Annette Bening does what she can, whereas all the rest of the actors are terribly underused. An opportunity sadly missed.