Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Women

I saw this in the theater this past summer and decided it was a movie I'd like to have, so when it went on sale yesterday, I bought it. Last night Mallory, my youngest daughter, and I watched it. I've never read or seen the original play by Clare Booth Luce, nor have I seen the 1939 film, so maybe my fresh view makes me different. The comments on IMDB are vicious, and I'm not sure where they were coming from. I found it to be entertaining, especially the ending.

Mary Haines (Meg Ryan) and her friends have it all. Sylvie (Annette Benning) is the editor of a fashion magazine, Alex (Jada Pinkett Smith) is a successful writer, and Edie (Debra Messing) the ever-pregnant mother of four young daughters. But when Mary learns from Sylvie, who learned it from manicurist Tanya (Debi Mazar), that her husband is having an affair with a "spritzer" (perfume) girl at Saks, her world is turned upside down. Her first reaction is to kick hubby out of the house, which she does, but as time goes on, and she battles her feelings about herself, her marriage, and her realtionship with her mother (Candice Bergen), 11-year-old daughter, and friends, she starts caring about herself. In the end, she discovers that she can bring a fullness to her life and sets out to do it.

There are no men in this movie, just the women. It's not a hard-hitting, psychological trip, nor is it a madcap romp. It's entertainment, and that's what I was looking for three days before Christmas. Mary makes a statement near the end of the movie about how women can have it all...if they want it. To me, that's the difference between now and 1939. Personally, I embrace that difference.

Rent it first, just in case you find you don't like it.

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