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The Women
The Women
Actors: Meg Ryan, Eva Mendes, Annette Bening, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett-Smith
Genres: Comedy, Drama
PG-13     2008     1hr 54min

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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Movie Details

Actors: Meg Ryan, Eva Mendes, Annette Bening, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett-Smith
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Meg Ryan, Drama
Studio: New Line Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 12/19/2008
Original Release Date: 10/10/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 10/10/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 54min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 17
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Aldo C. (jamesdeanfan81) from SAN GABRIEL, CA
Reviewed on 4/27/2014...
Here's my take on the movie. When I first saw the trailer, I thought great a group of friends supporting their girlfriend as much as they possibly could after learning about her husband's affair. Simple story, but the movie is more than that. Yes, we have Meg Ryan's character struggling on what to do about her situation; leaving her husband or listening to her mother and staying in the marriage knowing he has cheated. More importantly, we have a group of women who are basically dealing with life the best they could. The movie explores the what ifs and the way we perceive ourselves. Characteristic wise, there were instances where I saw a little of myself in each of those women.

Additionally, this movie reminded me of The First Wives Club and if you have seen that, then you will be pleased with what Meg Ryan's character end up doing. Despite what people will say, this movie is not just for women.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Belinda S. (niara) from NEW YORK, NY
Reviewed on 4/23/2014...
It's really, really hard to not compare this remake to the original 1939 George Cukor film. Different eras, different time -- I get that. But on many levels, I was more able to relate to the original whereas this remake what a long, shrill ride. Overly dramatic, almost cartoonish-like characters. The women portrayed in this version seemed so patently unrealistic they almost came off like caricatures of real women. They certainly are not like any women I know. Wonderful actors -- Annette Benning, Meg Ryan, Debra Messing -- wasted in this vapid mess. Jada Pinkett-Smith thrown in for what? The superficiality of an ethnically diverse cast? Aside from a wonderfully cast Candice Bergen and a great scene in which Annette Benning's character has a frank discussion about sex with Meg Ryan's daughter, it reminded me of the epically downward spiral of women's film roles, and a shame to what once was the upward trajectory of Meg Ryan's film career.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
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
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Where was the so-called moral support?
Elisabeth | 10/01/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)


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 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, 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. 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."