Favorite

New release: The Women 

The Women

The witty and wise 1939 screen version of The Women, based on Clare Booth Luce’s play and helmed by “woman’s director” George Cukor, has been unfortunately refashioned as a Sex and the City wanna-be, in the process losing all the smoldering conflicts and zesty support system of its classic predecessor. In that version, Norma Shearer’s angelic society woman had to decide whether to stay married to a husband who dared to dally with Joan Crawford’s skanky shopgirl. With nary a male in sight but an all-female-cast to die for (Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard and Joan Fontaine were also part of the ensemble), the picture began with a playful title sequence and went on to examine females as complicated beings forced to simultaneously respond to social duties, potentially duplicitous acquaintances, and the demands of their own independent hearts. Predictably, this new version opens with a nod toward modern materialism (a woman mentally catalogues each item in a department store with an inner computer not unlike the Terminator’s) and then proceeds to offer contemporary stereotypes rather than memorable individuals. Here, everything has been smoothed out to the point of tepidity: Eva Mendes (as the hubby-swiper) is merely naughty where Crawford was lethal, and Russell’s role as a backstabbing “frenemy” has been transformed into Annette Bening’s tough-yet-tender editor. Meanwhile, Meg Ryan (as the jilted spouse) doesn’t stray too far from her established persona, while Jada Pinkett Smith’s casting in a worthless role (cut it, and the movie doesn’t change at all) demonstrates that writer-director Diane English was more interested in covering all demographics than in making any salient points about 21st-century girl power.

Favorite

More by Matt Brunson

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect Today 03.24.2017

Latest in Film Reviews

  • Review: Beauty and the Beast
  • Review: Beauty and the Beast

    The plot remains fundamentally unchanged from the ’91 model, and the narrative diversions that have been added along the way are acceptable and sometimes even manage to enhance particular points from its predecessor.
    • Mar 21, 2017
  • Review: Logan
  • Review: Logan

    The film is crucially missing a worthy villain of note – and when the scripters run out of ideas, they paraphrase Stephen Sondheim and elect to send in the clones. This latter decision renders the action sequences even more rote and less interesting.
    • Mar 7, 2017
  • Review: A United Kingdom
  • Review: A United Kingdom

    As is often the case with historical sagas, the picture relegates lots of fascinating material into a few blocks of text at the end, giving short shrift to the subsequent accomplishments of two people who refused to be defined merely by their physical appearances.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • More »

The Most: Read | Shared | Comments

Movies This Week

More Filmtimes

or

Right Now On: Twitter | Facebook

Copyright © 2017, Connect Savannah. All Rights Reserved.
Website powered by Foundation