The Women (2008): The Verdict


Maybe I have rose-coloured memories of the original movie, but as I recall, it SPARKLED.  Ok, the central character was a bit of a wuss, but still – it dripped FABULOUSNESS.

The new version?  Hmmm. Occasional glints… but no dazzle.

That said, I did enjoy it.  There were some great performances (Annette Bening! WHERE has she been for so long, hmmm?) And I loved recognizing lines and scenes (the child actress vs “Aunty Crystal” in the bath was almost (from my memory, anyway) identical to the Joan Crawford version) while laughing at some more modern takes (especially in the birthing room).

The cameos? OMG, THAT was Carrie Fisher?  Eeek!  And as usual, Joanna Gleason did NOT get anywhere near the screen time/lines that she deserved (Did  you SEE her in The West Wing? And how about her utterly knockout performance in Sondheim’s Into the Woods waaaaaaaaay back in 1991? She was been underrated for so  damn long!)  Bette of course pretty much played Bette… Candice Bergen played… Candice Bergen; and Debra Messing played her entire supporting actress role as … well, Debra Messing.

The fashion?  Well…after the opening montage of stylishly clad feet striding along 5th avenue, I kept hoping for more.  Don’t even TALK to me about alleged fashion designer Mary Haines in those GHASTLY flat shoes (pre-transformation) – it was all I could do not to scream “Oh, honey, NO!” at the screen.

But her coat in the making  up scene with Sylvia? UTTERLY FABULOUS!  (of course, I can’t find a #$()@*_( picture..)  Mary Haine’s designs? (by John Dunn) Ho hum.

Look, I didn’t expect the movie to time-travel.  The original was of its time, and so is this movie.  I love that this movie had great roles for some *ahem* “women of a certain age” (and  – WHY don’t we see MORE of some of these people, huh, Hollywood? WHY? ) and I hope the run of “chick flicks for the menopausal” (plese, someone tell me there’s a catchier way to say that!) continues.

Gowns by Adrian...

Gowns by Adrian...

As soon as I can get my hands on the original, though, I’m grabbing my BFF and maybe a coupla other friends, breaking out the air popped popcorn and bubbly, and enjoying it thoroughly.