Just as some people are trying to convince women to support another woman for national office, would it follow women critics are supposed to support a movie about and made by women? If so, once again, I’m not buying it. Call me a maverick, I guess.
This “Women” is an update of the Claire Booth Luce classic. I wasn’t around back then, but I guess just having a bunch of terrific actresses collected to recognize things like adultery, female friendships and the complications of motherhood was pretty fresh. Now, even considering Diane English’s savvy sophistication, it all just seems rather tired.
Meg Ryan and Annette Bening play old college pals, now suffering in the directions life has led them. Meg (looking great, loved the hair) designs dresses in her Connecticut manse, Annette sleekly tries to manage a failing woman’s magazine. Both have their worlds rocked, shocked and supported by a dandy group of actresses including Eva Mendes, Candice Bergen and Bette Midler. Sadly, few of these women seem to really connect on screen. Debra Messing, looking almost unrecognizable, shows up a lot, but doesn’t bring much to the table and, except for the obvious, I’m not sure what Jada Pickett Smith was doing there. She’s a talent who should have been given more to do.
Everybody does get to spout off English’s zingy one liners, though and, while I’m sure most of them are pithy and smart, they fly too fast and furious for us to savor. There’s no down time for any of us to take a breath, laugh or dare I say, think; the on target sass English injected into Murphy Brown must be in this script, too, but it all congeals into a relentless mass.
Of course, I love the idea of all these actresses (and women behind the camera) getting their acts together, as it were. But, happily, we’ve come a long way, baby, since the original boilerplate for this one; far enough, I feel, that we don’t have to go bananas just because there’s a woman on the stage.