Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Meg Ryan, Eva Mendes, Annette Bening, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett-Smith
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Mothers, daughters, wives, friends: These are the women of The Women. Based on Clare Boothe Luce's Broadway success and the hit 1939 movie, this sparkling update (from Murphy Brown creator Diane English) set in Manhattan a... more »
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Charlene C. (mccoffield) from SOUTHLAKE, TX
Reviewed on 8/18/2011...
This is a funny, touching, and over all great movie, which primarily caters to women viewers. I like it so much that I rated it 4+ stars. I noticed that most of the reviews by DVD Swap members were very positive, though one critic totally missed the humor of it and seemed quite unforgiving of real-life character weaknesses. Most of the low to average ratings from other online reviews are due either to male reviewers who cannot understand or appreciate the feminine psyche or to those who might criticize it because of it’s departure from the original stage play on which it is based. Most would classify this film as a “chick flick”, and I agree. However, that does not mean that it has no depth, is not well written or is not well acted – Quite the Contrary!
This film is based on the play, written by Clare Boothe Luce, which premiered in 1930 with a highly unusual and controversial all-woman cast. It was first adapted for the big screen in 1939, starring Norma Shearer, Paulette Goddard, Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell. With its new screenplay by Diane English and its fabulous casting, I think this modern 2008 movie version outdoes both the original play and the 1939 film.
The all-star cast (no male roles) portray their characters perfectly! The film is really a study of women’s roles and friendships, a story of four best friends, played brilliantly by Meg Ryan (as Mary Haines), Annette Bening (as Sylvie Fowler), Debra Messing (as Edie Cohen) and Jada Pinkett-Smith (as Alex Fisher). The supporting cast is equally brilliant in their roles: Candice Bergen (as Mary’s mother, Catherine), India Ennenga (as Mary’s daughter, Molly), Cloris Leachman (as Mary’s housekeeper, Maggie), Eva Mendes (as Crystal, the shallow sexpot), Debi Mazat (as Tanya, the gossiping manicurist), Tilly Scott, Joanna Gleason, Carrie Fisher and Bette Midler.
Besides the more obvious humor, be sure to notice the subtle humor that makes this film really stand out from the run-of-the-mill chick flick. There are several very clever and subtle bits of humor in this movie that 99 percent of men wouldn’t even notice, and if they did, it would go right over their heads. Women, this movie will make you laugh out loud and perhaps shed a tear or two. Highly recommended.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jerry S. from OCEANSIDE, CA
Reviewed on 5/13/2011...
Great Movie. Loved it
Deidra C. (Deidra670) from GARRETT, KY
Reviewed on 3/6/2011...
THE WOMEN is an amazing film! The cast is stellar. Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Eva Mendes--with that much talent, it would be hard to go wrong.
And it doesn't. The characters are so diverse, fleshed out perfectly. I know usually whenever Meg Ryan is mentioned, immediately her physical defects, the "trout pout" have overshadowed her acting. But Meg was charming as the betrayed wife, coping with abandonment and relationships that don't always end the way you think they will.
Although I haven't seen it, this film is a re-make of an old classic. After this version, I will definitely seek it out. The concept of an all female cast is wild. Not a single man, not even the cheating husband is visible. Stephen is constantly talked about and is played about on the phone, but he is never on screen.
I normally never watch the special features, but after watching THE WOMEN, I rushed to them. They didn't disappoint.
So girlfriend, watch the ultimate chick flick, THE WOMEN!! It's a great piece of cinema history and fun!!
J L S. from OAKLAND, NJ
Reviewed on 10/23/2010...
What a hoot! Almost needed to keep a scorecard.
Where was the so-called moral support?
Elisabeth | 10/01/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"**REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS**
Mary Haine (Meg Ryan) finds out her husband is cheating on her and her thoughtful, caring friends gather around to show their support.
At least....that's what the description says. But what's actually shown onscreen is a different story.
Instead of support, what Mary gets is one long guilt trip. First in line is her mother, who guilt trips her by saying if she divorces her cheating husband, she'll hurt their daughter. For effect, we have a sad-faced daughter moping around and blaming her mother for everything.
Mary's mom, however, conveniently forgets that by cheating, it was actually Mary's husband who broke up the family. He knew full well his actions could hurt his family and could lead to divorce, but he didn't care enough about his family to stop himself....so then, why is Mary the one getting lectured?
The person, though, who really lays it on thick is Mary's friend (played by Debra Messing). Her friend confesses that she cheated on her husband and then angrily yells at Mary that her husband forgave her anyway because he's a good man who loves her....meaning, if Mary gets a divorce, she's obviously a bad person who doesn't truly love her husband.
So much for moral support!
As if these guilt trips weren't bad enough, we also have another so-called friend (played by Annette Benning) who throws Mary under the bus to save her career. This woman even steals another woman's ideas to save her career, too. She does later quit her job and I'm supposed to believe it's because she grew a conscience...but I think she quit because if she didn't, she'd soon be fired anyway for not being considered hip enough to stay in the magazine industry.
Earlier, when this same friend (and another friend) find out Mary's husband is cheating, they both withhold the truth from Mary. They justify their decision saying they were just protecting her. But withholding the truth doesn't protect Mary. It protects her husband. Thanks to their silence, Mary's husband gets to continue having his cake and eat it, too.
And also because of their silence, Mary has to find out about the adultery from a complete stranger. How embarrassing is that?
None of the women in this movie had Mary's best interests at heart. Not even the housekeeper who wants to preserve Mary's marriage -- not because it's in Mary's best interest to do so -- but because if the couple divorces, she'll be out of a job.
Normally, I'd feel sorry for someone in Mary's shoes, except I can't because Mary is so spineless. Not only does she share the blame for her husband's adultery, but she also treats him like a helpless victim, too....as if he had no other choice but to cheat on her.
First, Mary blames his mistress, believing this mistress came on so strong, the poor guy didn't stand a chance. Right...like his mistress was some bully who forced him to have sex with her.
She then makes a fool of herself by demanding that the mistress let her husband go...again, as if she's some bully holding him hostage.
But she's not. Mary's husband entered the affair out of his own free will. It was his choice to do this.
Mary can't accept this even at the end when she tells him she caused him to cheat because she wasn't a whole woman back then. Now that she's a whole person, they can be together now.
But Mary's husband didn't cheat because of what Mary lacked. He cheated because of what he lacked...the ability to face problems head on.
He's so poor at facing problems that he even stays in an affair he wants to leave because he doesn't want to deal with his mistress's anger.
These messages disturbed me because too often, it's the victim who's unfairly blamed for their partner's adultery and this movie backs up the adulterer. There's a very casual tone here concerning adultery. Although there's one scene where Mary cries over being cheated on, for the most part, she doesn't seem too affected by it. Shortly after she discovers his adultery, she's even laughing and having a good time with her mom.
The message this sends to female viewers is that they, too, should just shrug adultery off as a minor offense and just forgive as quickly as Mary does.
The acting in this movie is pretty bad, too. Annette Benning overacts as usual. Debra Messing, who's usually funny, also overacts. But it was Jada Pinkett-Smith who is the most miscast here. She seemed really self-conscious in this role and it was cringe-inducing to watch her. Meg Ryan's acting came off okay only because everyone else performed so poorly.
Overall, this movie went from bad to worse."