Aspiring writer Carter Webb has just been dumped by his true love, Sophia. Heartbroken and depressed, Carter escapes Los Angeles to suburban Michigan to care for his ailing grandmother and to work on a book he has always w... more »anted to write. Soon after his arrival, Carter stumbles into the lives of the family living directly across the street: Sarah Hardwicke, and her daughters, Paige and Lucy. His relationships with all of these women help Carter discover that what felt like an end was only just the beginning of something else...« less
Gerald R. from RACINE, WI Reviewed on 12/10/2013...
Other reviewers have covered much of the detail, but I wanted to register a strong opinion on this one. I can not believe this movie has such a low composite rating.
It is much better than a three. The acting is great, the characters are ones to care about, the story believable and touching. This film is way better than so many, many other stories out there.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Great Movie - Dissapointing DVD release
Tighe Bowers | Charleston, South Carolina | 10/30/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I whole-heartedly enjoyed "In The Land of Women" when I first saw it back in April during its brief run in cinemas. Needless to say, I have been so looking forward to the DVD release since then.
I just got my DVD today, and it is completely a bare bones disc, unless you count the trailers at the beginning of the disc. A good movie, but a poor DVD release."
Looking for Love in Seemingly Wrong Places
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/31/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Kasdan Family has made a significant mark on the better films of Hollywood and Jon Kasdan (writer/director of IN THE LAND OF WOMEN) holds those values of fine cinema intact. Having appeared as an actor in some films of his father Lawrence Kasdan (Grand Canyon, The Big Chill, Body Heat, Mumford, Dreamcatcher, The Bodyguard, etc), he has not only inherited his father's credo of making meaningful statements about life as we are currently living it, he has absorbed the fluid character development of those films and added his own sensitive touch with graceful dialog. He is a talent to watch.
Soft porn writer Carter Webb (Adam Brody in a very fine performance) lives in Los Angeles near his depressed mother (JoBeth Williams) and has just been dumped by his actress girlfriend Sofia Buñuel (Elena Anaya). When his mother learns of her mother's failing state, the distraught Carter offers to travel to suburban Michigan to stay with his grandma Phyllis (Olympia Dukakis). Once in picturesque Michigan Carter deals with his lovable but eccentric grandma and meets the across the street neighbors - mother Sarah (Meg Ryan in fine form), daughters Lucy (Kristin Stewart) and the younger Paige (Makenzie Vega), and errant husband Nelson (Clark Gregg). In this setting of a 'woman world' Carter is key to aiding the various maladies of each of the women while addressing his own disappointing failed relationship. The manner in which he intervenes by simply being present and tender and caring makes a positive impact on not only those around him but also on his own life and talent as a meaningful writer.
In what could have been a soupy chick flick Jon Kasdan has instead provided a script that has a healthy dose of homespun philosophy and has guided his multi-talented cast to offer some of their finest moments on film. This is an entertaining movie, but it is also a balm for viewers who have experienced life-threatening illness, broken homes, coping with the elderly, and ultimately coping with death. It simply works. Grady Harp, October 07 "
A very sound teenage drama that I only wish had been more ad
Andrew Ellington | I'm kind of everywhere | 02/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"`In the Land of Women' had great potential to be a dramatic and moving character study. Sadly it focuses too much on being appealing to the teenage crowd and so it loses a sense a maturity in parts. It is still a good movie; in fact my wife and I enjoyed it very much, I just feel that it could have, and should have been better. There are things placed within this film that you can tell are there to draw a particular crowd, but then there are moments that scream out with a subtle maturity that I only wish had been consistent throughout.
The film revolves around Carter Webb, a screenwriter for the adult entertainment industry. After his celebrity girlfriend Sophia breaks his heart he decides it would be a good idea for him to leave the L.A. life behind and find himself. So, when his mother informs him that his grandmother is paranoid she may die soon he takes that as his opportunity of escape and makes the trip out to Michigan to visit her. His grandmother Phyllis is apparently delusional, but she a riot and so it's a welcomed delusion. Carter soon meets the Hardwicke's who live across the street from Phyllis. He soon forms an attachment with the mother Sarah and the teenage daughter Lucy and throughout their time together they change each others lives drastically.
The Hardwicke family has a lot of demons trapped in the closet, especially Sarah and Lucy, and for some reason they feel a comfortableness with Carter that allows them to get things off their chest. There is truth in the idea that there lies a certain comfort with strangers and I think that plays a large role in understanding this film. Some have balked at the fact that Sarah and Lucy would not divulge huge family secrets to a complete stranger but I beg to differ. Sometimes we need sounding boards and it's much easier to sound off on someone not emotionally invested in your or your problems, someone that can't judge you because they don't know you. Sarah and Lucy have a lot they keep bottled up because there is no one for them to talk to about, but now they have Carter.
Adam Brody has been breaking out in a large way the past few years due to his stint on `The O.C.' and this is really his first leading role. He handles it well enough. There are certain aspects of his character I felt were forced in order to make him `cool' in the eyes of teenagers and I didn't particularly like that. Kristen Stewart's (can you believe this is the same little girl from `Panic Room'?) character Lucy is another one of those overly clichéd characters. Every stereotype in the book is thrown at her as far as how a rebellious teenage daughter would act. She handles the role decently enough; I just wish they would have given her more. Olympia Dukakis is hilarious as Phyllis and she has some of the most memorable lines. The real standout here though is Meg Ryan who tackles her `sick mom' character with real warmth and conviction. As Sarah you feel really connected to her. I have always love Meg Ryan and really wish she would be given more attention. She is a very capable actress who deserves more accolades for her impressive body of work.
In the end `In the Land of Women' works well. It fleshes out some nice character traits, especially when in regards Carter and Sarah whose relationship is the most interesting of all. I wish they had dropped the stereotypes though; left out the token party scene or the `teenage smoking' bit but it's not really enough to complain too much. There are such sweet moments (one I particularly enjoyed was when Carter sits down to write the children's book he told his grandmother he wrote for a living) that I began to really wish the script had been tweaked to reach an older audience. I guess that is my only complaint. This is a film targeted towards the young when if it had been adjusted to target the middle-aged crowd could have turned into a genuinely moving adult drama. Instead it remains a very well constructed teenage drama. Three and a half stars for a film that with a little more maturity could have easily been four and a half or even five."
Mopey Look at a Young Writer's Emotional Catharsis Aided by
Ed Uyeshima | San Francisco, CA USA | 11/09/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This 2007 movie reeks of the puppy-warm hypersensitivity of CW/WB teen-angst dramas like Dawson's Creek and Felicity and even has Adam Brody, recently of Fox's The O.C., as its star. That's not to say that the story, written by filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan's youngest son Jon, doesn't have certain moments of resonance, but it remains stubbornly shallow in execution perhaps because this represents Jon Kasdan's directorial debut. Actual nuance is often replaced by moments of forced comedy and drama. Brody is an appealing actor and can be razor-sharp when given an appropriately sized role like his smarmy turn as a Hollywood studio assistant in 2006's Thank You for Smoking, but Kasdan makes him a mopey presence here with little latitude for revealing any emotional complexity.
He plays Carter Webb, a 26-year old LA-based writer who specializes in soft porn (a plot point that isn't explored too much). His heart is broken when his pretty Spanish actress-model girlfriend Sofia, accelerating quickly on the Hollywood fast lane, summarily dumps him in a coffee shop. In order to decompress and heal, Carter decides to stay with his ailing, comically senile grandmother Phyllis in Michigan for a while. She lives across the street from the Hardwickes, and he gets to know mother Sarah and her two daughters Lucy and Paige. Before you shout The Graduate, the film does not go this exploitative route but instead looks at how Sarah and Lucy are drawn to Carter because of their own dilemmas. Sarah is an idle housewife who finds out she has breast cancer and a cheating husband, while Lucy is a typical angst-driven teen who has trouble dealing with boys and her parents. Nothing too surprising happens, mainly long dialogue scenes between the principals, while minor characters fade away entirely.
As Lucy, Kristen Stewart looks like she may have the chops to become Scarlett Johansson's successor in alienated youth roles, though her constantly slouched posture and downward gaze gets wearing. Absent from the screen for at least three years, Meg Ryan is a welcome presence as Sarah, and it's nice to see she still has a career after her lengthy string of 1990's romantic comedies. Minus her trademark twinkle, she manages to bring depth to a tightly wound character defined by her sorrow, and yet Kasdan shifts away from her character's relationship with Carter just when it gets interesting. The main challenge in watching her as a forty-something suburban matron is how much she simply doesn't look like one. Makenzie Vega plays Paige with predictable precociousness, while others barely register, including Olympia Dukakis on automatic pilot as Phyllis, JoBeth Williams as Carter's useless mother Agnes and Elena Anaya looking very much like Audrey Tautou's baby sister as Sofia. Perhaps reflective of the film's poor box office reception, the DVD contains no extras."
Just How I Hoped it Would Be
Mary Macht | Spring Lake Park, MN | 11/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really liked this movie. I found I could really relate to the characters. I have a friend who went through the same situation Meg Ryan did. The look on Adam Brody's face as the girl he loves is breaking up with him will make your heart hurt. His grandmother added another dimension, she made you laugh sometimes & made you sad at other times. The movie put you through emotional ups & downs but didn't leave you feeling all sad and depressed at the end, it gave you hope. I loved it. I think Adam Brody is going to be an Oscar winner someday--sooner than later."