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The Women

The WomenDirected by: Diane English Cast: Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett Smith, Eva Mendes Time: 1 hr 55 mins Rating: PG-13

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Plot: Mary (Ryan) discovers her husband is having an affair. Her friends come to her aid and confront the shop girl (Mendes) who has her clutches in Mary's man.

Who’s It For? If you are going through a divorce maybe this will help you gain perspective, or perhaps you are worried that you're the worst parent.

Expectations: I was hoping that The Women would be able to embrace the difficult, delicate subject of beauty in America or at least be more entertaining then Sex and the City: The Movie. It doesn't, but there is a documentary out there called America the Beautiful, which does a great job. See that instead.


Actors: Meg Ryan as Mary Haines: Everyone in the film is high maintenance, but Mary is the most unaware. She spreads herself insanely thin, which means she doesn't do anything particularly well. Then, once she finds out her husband is having an affair she goes on a path of self-discovery. This means she barely talks to her husband and all but abandons her daughter. In fact, the film never really shows her being a good parent, except for hugging her young daughter after a fashion show (this of course, after her daughter thinks she's fat). Score: 3

Annette Bening as Sylvia Fowler: Bening stars as a celibate Samantha Jones. Sylvia turns her back on her friends for a job and we're supposed to feel the frustrations of a career woman wanting to make something of value for women in the magazine industry. But it doesn't work. She has one lousy conversation to Mary's daughter that lasts five seconds about how magazines send mixed messages and that's as deep as it gets. Score: 3

Debra Messing as Edie Cohen: By far the most enjoyable character in this film. She has the impossible task of having a baby. I say impossible because at this point delivering a baby seems like it has been done a million times in films and there is nothing new to add, but her elongated screams are a welcome touch to the ending of this film (for more than one reason). Score: 5

Jada Pinkett Smith as Alex Fisher: She's a lesbian. We know this because someone is constantly mentioning it and Alex always leans back in chairs. Very creative. Score: 2

Talking: It's tons of half-conversations. There is barely any opening up and embracing between these friends. Plus, Candice Bergen is wasted having plastic surgery and giving awful advice. Even Bette Milder and Cloris Leachman are wasted. And whenever a film or TV show repetitively says "It's in the vault" I feel like they are just borrowing from "Seinfeld." Come up with a new term, this was is taken. Score: 3

Sights & Sounds: It's all women. No really, take a look around, all the individuals over the age of 1 are women in this film. It's a nice touch, and I heard the same technique was used in the 1939 version of the film also called The Women. Here's the idea of a visual joke for this film ... an angry supermodel eats a napkin at a party because she's starving. There is one authentic moment, when Mary snacks on butter and sugar. It's gross and it fits with Mary losing it. Score: 5

OVERALL This can't be what women want to watch. From the very beginning we get a petty conversation about tiny dogs and shoes. A film written, directed and starring all women completely misses the mark of embracing strong powerful independent women. Let's change the title a little bit, "The Rich Petty Women." This does make me want to go watch the 1939 version of this film, because I am hoping the women back then were more progressive and cared about things besides plastic surgery and fashion. Score: 3 out of 10

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