- Director:Diane English
- Cast:Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Meg Ryan
- Release Date:October 23, 2008
- Running time:114 minutes
- Film Worth:$14.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
“… a triumph.”
Remaking a classic, especially one by a master like George Cukor, is usually a mistake. But with its deliciously witty script and luminescent star power, this new version of the 1939 favourite The Women is a triumph.
The central woman is fashion designer and mother Mary Haines (Meg Ryan), who's just found out that her husband is having an affair. The story revolves around how she copes with his infidelity - and another, unexpected betrayal.
The original film boasted the era's biggest female stars (including Norma Shearer and a man-eating Joan Crawford), and the "gimmick", then and now, is its wall-to-wall female cast. While the original latched onto the bitchy, catty angles of female relationships, the remake is altogether warmer and fuzzier. There's an undeniable post-Sex And The City feel to this - as magazine editor Sylvie, Annette Bening even seems to channel that cultural icon's famed power strut. There's not a weak link in the casting chain: Bening and Candice Bergen (Ryan's screen mum) relish their sharp lines; a surprising Eva Mendes takes the Crawford role and sexily makes it her own; Jada Pinkett Smith is edgy and funny; Debra Messing is just plain hilarious; and late arrival Bette Midler is a shot of adrenaline. Most importantly, a perky-free Meg Ryan handles the lead role effortlessly.
Produced by Mick Jagger's production company, Jagged Films, and written and directed by Murphy Brown creator Diane English, The Women is easy on the eye with only a few dull patches in the latter half. Containing as much wisdom as it does wit, English's sparkling screenplay takes what was a fairly shallow story and creates a snapshot of modern (albeit wealthy) women's lives. Watch the tail end of the credits for brief interviews with the cast.