Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Women

This past weekend I went to see the remake of 'The Women' starring Meg Ryan (who even through soft-lenses has had some SCARY plastic surgery). I wanted to like this movie SO MUCH. I've been looking forward to it all summer. The original movie from 1939 is one of my favorites.the original
However, I'm sad to report they ruined it. *OH NO THEY DINT!* Poorly written and not cohesive,they took the entire point and reasoning out of the movie instead making it a pseudo carbon-copy of SATC. Now, you know I love me some SATC, but THIS IS NOT SATC. The reason the original movie is so brilliant is that it is the antithesis of SATC. That is the entire REASON and story of the movie -why copy parts of the original, keep the plot, but ignore the thing that makes the plot INTERESTING. Yes, this remake is boring. As they say on Project Runway, 'Don't bore Nina'.
the ladies at Saks
Also, this movie had the most BLATANT product placement I've ever seen in my life. It reads as one big commercial for Dove beauty products (including a 5 minute sequence that could possibly be a dove commercial) and Saks 5th (how many times can you say Saks in once sentence?) Did I just pay $10.50 to see one big, long commercial?
and AGAIN at Saks....see a pattern?
If you've never seen the original, stop reading now. You may actually enjoy the new movie. It is well filmed, very pretty and fashiony with a great cast. If you liked SATC, you MIGHT like this movie and the relationships between these women. It won't be mind blowing or make you cry, but it will be enjoyable for you.
The original movie is brilliant, because it explores the lives of 9 women and their bitchy fake friendships together and how the main character deals with a major plot twist. Nothing is touchy feely or read as true friendships except for the relationship between the main character and her mother. The opposite is true in this new version. They took out the fun bitchiness, the great comic writing and turned the same basic plot into a bland carbon copy. Interspersed throughout the movie were lame and pointless references to the original as if to say 'see, we're a remake of a brilliant movie!'. If so, why didn't they remake the things that made the original so wonderful?
One of the most annoying bits I'll mention here was to have the role of the 'countess' from the original played by the fabulous Bette Midler. The annoying part? Instead of an insane but lovingly optimistic REAL Countess always in search of 'la'mour' - Bette plays an annoyingly pessimistic hollywood agent who mentions briefly that she has the nickname 'countess' ( is that really neccesary?) who coos 'lamour' once......and is the ONLY bitchy character in the entire movie.
yes, Meg Ryan, I'm as confused as you are! why is this movie so bad after 14 yrs in the making?
Even the villain, Eva Mendes - comes off as un-bitchy and really dumb. REALLY? Did the people who directed this movie even SEE the original? Joan Crawford was amazing as the bitchiest femme fatale who also was a smart cookie.
Eva Mendes, sorry - but NOT a Joan Crawford remake of the role
Thats my review: save your $10 to buy a dvd copy of the original movie. Yes, it's in black and white from 1939, but the writing and story are 10 times more amazingly modern and entertaining than this new version. Save it for netflix.
*disclaimer* For the record, I'm not just saying bad things because the original was so wonderful -there is room in the industry for GREAT remakes. Some of my favorite movies are Great Expectations with Ethan Hawk and Gwenyth Paltrow and Hamlet (also with Ethan Hawk) are 2 of my favorite movies and both are brilliant interpretations of classics.

17 comments:

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Ah, the original. "Zips up the back, and no bones!"

I wouldn't bite on the new one. And not just because of Meg's creeeeepy plastic surgery. (And I did see her on Letterman, and it's just so sad) But, the whole idea of this just seems ridiculous to me.

By the way, the original was on TCM this very night!

Topsy Turvy said...

I didn't like this movie either (and I didn't see the original). It was a weak mess, unfortunately. Like you, I wanted to like it as I am on a mission to support movies by and about women, but us women have a lot better stuff to offer than this movie does. I couldn't understand Jada Pinkett or her character, the birth scene at the hospital was ridiculous, and Meg and her hair were looking a bit weird. I do plan to see the original, so thanks for the review on that.

-Lana

Be the change..... said...

I don't get TCM, PTE!! Thats the channel I most miss!!
TT, definitely see the original, I have a feeling you will LOVE it! I own it on DVD and had to get it out to lend to a few friends to prove my point! I had a movie night last month to show some friends this movie -they all loved it!

Kwana said...

Oh I'm so sorry. I was on my way to see The Women and saw The Family The Preys instead and LOVED it. I was shocked. It's Tyler Perry's best with Kathy Bates and Alfre Woodard. I say check my blog and give that a try.

Be the change..... said...

I thought that looked really good, Kwana! I'll have to definitely check it out now!

Great Dame said...

A friend Tivo'd the original, and we're planning on watching it some time this week. It's been ages since I saw it, and I definitely want to see the classic before deciding whether to see the remake. And it seems like the new version is getting universally panned.

Be the change..... said...

Ya, don't waste your time, GD! Just watch the original twice, lol

Fifi Flowers said...

Thanks for the heads up... I will rent the original and the new one when it comes out... which according to your review will be soon.

Beaux Mondes Designs said...

Thank you be the change for your critique on this film. I also loved the original. It is a definite classic. I'm curious, did this version hold a fashion show like the original shown in color? Although, I didn't particularly think the garments were that impressive, nevertheless, I did admire the writers idea of introducing "couture" to it's audience. I'll just have to wait until this rolls out to my nearest blockbuster. Thanks for insight.

Be the change..... said...

Fifi, I have no doubt this movie will be out of theaters in 2 weeks. Look for it on dvd soon!
BMD, The new version does not have a fashion show. They kept the (less confrontational) scene in the dressing room is all. It's certainly dumbed down in many respects!

Great Dame said...

Yay, I saw the original movie last night, and you're right, it's wonderful!

Be the change..... said...

I'm glad you liked it too, GD! So will you see the new version now?

Hooked on Houses said...

Oh, what a disappointment! I liked the original and was so hoping that this would do it justice. The ads for it were scaring me a little, though (looked like a bad SatC clone). I will have to see it just because of the original, but may wait for the DVD now. -Julia

Be the change..... said...

Julia, I'm sad to say that you should just wait for the DVD -still worth seeing though -just not worth $10. It basically is a sad and pathetic SaTC clone like you say :-(

Edi Style said...

It was disappointing indeed

Alex said...

Love love love the original. When I was in college, I did Ruthless! the musical (which took a lot of inspiration from The Women, only female characters, bitchiness, fast dialogue unseen in today's entertainment industry outside of Aaron Sorkin's writing), the director gave the eight of us a homework assignment to watch it. The rest of the production we did the "stretch" before each show. So much fun. Now I can't use the word "pretty" without doubling.

For example: Your blog is pretty pretty, Be the Change...

Be the change..... said...

Wow, thanks, Alex! Pretty is indeed a compliment :-) I think everyone who sees this movie loves it - regardless of age (of the movie or the viewer!). Someone in my office borrowed it who doesn't like 'old' movies and she LOVED the movie - even watched it twice!