The Women (12A)

Film

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5
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Time Out says

Fri Sep 12 2008

By rights it should take a female critic to demolish this shameless re-make of George Cukor’s evergreen 1939 classic, not this male reviewer. Like most of the bitchy characters in it, writer-producer Diane English’s directorial debut is apalling but not unlikeable. Sticking close to the original all-woman extravaganza’s structure – and its Anita Loos-inflected depression-era sexual politics – she casts perm-haired Meg Ryan in the Norma Shearer role, as homely, wealthy, wellie-wearing mum Mary, who is betrayed not only by her husband but by her own gang of Manhattan fashionistas, gossipers and power shoppers.

Following close on the heels of ‘Sex and the City’, it’s another exclusive female-only club movie. Its seductive dramatis personnae (Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Candice Bergen, Bette Midler) is introduced by an opening credit sequence shot below the knee to reveal each character’s distinctive footwear – by their shoes you shall know them – that acts as a brazen acknowledgment of the film’s embrace of conspicuous, credit-crunch escapist consumption.
As a director, English is club-footed, innocent of the beautifully fluid ensemble work that distinguishes Cukor’s delirious, witty, cat-fight of a movie. She’s better at the scenes of greater, more intimate, emotional intensity – such as where Mary’s best friend, Caché magazine editor Sylvia (Bening), talks sex with Mary’s neglected daughter (India Ennenga) – and includes some laugh-out-loud dialogue and ripostes. The acting, too, is often highly diverting, with the older pros – like Midler, with her touch of Mae West, and Bergen, with her echoes of Rosalind Russell – showing up the younger. Eva Mendes has the most thankless task as the ‘hate-figure’, gold-digger Crystal, a role previously, imperiously, played by Joan Crawford.

Where the film really stinks, however, in its assertion of pre-feminist ethics, despite its sophist self-knowingness. On Fifth Avenue, the little daughter of Mary’s fecund friend Edie (Debra Messing) grumbles, ‘I don’t like this store – take me home!’, to which Bening replies: ‘Remember this all your life! Nobody hates Saks!’. For all who think that Saks sucks, stay away. Or vice versa.
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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Sep 12, 2008

Duration:

114 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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John Cooper

The Time Out review is what one would expect from a male reviewer scared to take on the holy cow of English feminism . . . I don't think this is a particularly good film but at least the characters are candid about the stresses and strains of being a `woman` in American society. In British society there is less emphasis on English women to look ` attractive` ( which no doubt helps to explain the recent influx of East European and Asian women to work for English Escort Agencies! ) Meg Ryan looks terrific ( I know it must have cost alot but what the hell . she got a result! However she should really look for scripts with better material . . as she is still a talented actress.( Ditto for Annette Benning ) . . I actually found the pre-feminist ethics more wholesome than today's post-feminist ethics which ignores basic truths of male evolution .. ie. men are atttracted to women who look like Eva Mendes. I'm not keen to defend this film, but at least it has more going for it than something like `Mistresses` or some vapid British product. . . There are some great lines . . . ` Her thighs look like they've been hit by a meteor shower ` . . ( with reference to cellulite I presume ) . . . The problem with the film is not its sexual politics . . but it's overlay of American sentiment . . where the hard-nosed New York women tear each other apart, and then up laughing and crying with each other . . .. as is required in the formulaic American `girly` comedy. In short, not a great film, but on the other hand, not a dishonest film . .( as anyone who has been shopping for shoes with a woman will know. )

John Cooper

The Time Out review is what one would expect from a male reviewer scared to take on the holy cow of English feminism . . . I don't think this is a particularly good film but at least the characters are candid about the stresses and strains of being a `woman` in American society. In British society there is less emphasis on English women to look ` attractive` ( which no doubt helps to explain the recent influx of East European and Asian women to work for English Escort Agencies! ) Meg Ryan looks terrific ( I know it must have cost alot but what the hell . she got a result! However she should really look for scripts with better material . . as she is still a talented actress.( Ditto for Annette Benning ) . . I actually found the pre-feminist ethics more wholesome than today's post-feminist ethics which ignores basic truths of male evolution .. ie. men are atttracted to women who look like Eva Mendes. I'm not keen to defend this film, but at least it has more going for it than something like `Mistresses` or some vapid British product. . . There are some great lines . . . ` Her thighs look like they've been hit by a meteor shower ` . . ( with reference to cellulite I presume ) . . . The problem with the film is not its sexual politics . . but it's overlay of American sentiment . . where the hard-nosed New York women tear each other apart, and then up laughing and crying with each other . . .. as is required in the formulaic American `girly` comedy. In short, not a great film, but on the other hand, not a dishonest film . .( as anyone who has been shopping for shoes with a woman will know. )

Mrs H

This is a truly dreadful film. If you have more than a few brain cells to rub together, don't go anywhere near it. Save your time and your money. It's boring, insipid, trite .........I have nothing positive to say.

Mrs H

This is a truly dreadful film. If you have more than a few brain cells to rub together, don't go anywhere near it. Save your time and your money. It's boring, insipid, trite .........I have nothing positive to say.

flo

why is this film being so heavily critisized? i thought it was a really good film, perfect for me and my mates to go see. it made us laugh so much. it was very good. i would recommend it. definatley. the ending was fabulous. a real must.

flo

why is this film being so heavily critisized? i thought it was a really good film, perfect for me and my mates to go see. it made us laugh so much. it was very good. i would recommend it. definatley. the ending was fabulous. a real must.

Jakamos

And oh my god I forgot about Bette Midler (God in heels) she was great but again this goes against the film as she was reduced to a bit part pot smoking cameo and good have brought some much needed life to the whole film. Of well....

Jakamos

And oh my god I forgot about Bette Midler (God in heels) she was great but again this goes against the film as she was reduced to a bit part pot smoking cameo and good have brought some much needed life to the whole film. Of well....

Jakamos

OK so it is not a great film, it's actually not really a good film but neither is it as bad as these reviews. I don't believe a film needs to be excellent to get a good review or otherwise get panned. It was slow in parts but had some nice humour and I liked the characters. Afterall it hasn't had the benefit of a huge TV series going before it to introduce you to the characters initially. However Jada Pinketts representation of a tough talking New York lesbian was pretty atrocious (and she is a great actress in just about everything else!!) I loved Anette Benning and Eva Mendes and nearly didn't fall asleep at the plot..... Just not bad I'm afraid but a good afternoon at the flicks anyway and not asking for my money back!

Jakamos

OK so it is not a great film, it's actually not really a good film but neither is it as bad as these reviews. I don't believe a film needs to be excellent to get a good review or otherwise get panned. It was slow in parts but had some nice humour and I liked the characters. Afterall it hasn't had the benefit of a huge TV series going before it to introduce you to the characters initially. However Jada Pinketts representation of a tough talking New York lesbian was pretty atrocious (and she is a great actress in just about everything else!!) I loved Anette Benning and Eva Mendes and nearly didn't fall asleep at the plot..... Just not bad I'm afraid but a good afternoon at the flicks anyway and not asking for my money back!

bibo

i have a rule that if i've paid to see a film i'll never leave until the finish, in The Women I spent the first half an hour looking for a watch to see how long was left,the second half an hour looking for somethingsharp on the seat to poke my face out with, and the second half at home instead of watching that shitpot of a film. First time i've ever broken my rule

bibo

i have a rule that if i've paid to see a film i'll never leave until the finish, in The Women I spent the first half an hour looking for a watch to see how long was left,the second half an hour looking for somethingsharp on the seat to poke my face out with, and the second half at home instead of watching that shitpot of a film. First time i've ever broken my rule

ashhh

absoloutly shit this film i went with people of all ages and gender, all thought it was shit DO NOT see this film unless you want to waste your money :)

ashhh

absoloutly shit this film i went with people of all ages and gender, all thought it was shit DO NOT see this film unless you want to waste your money :)

stig beve

one to avoid, dragged on about nothing inparticular for what felt like an eternity. i would rather watch sex and the city on a loop than sit through this again!

stig beve

one to avoid, dragged on about nothing inparticular for what felt like an eternity. i would rather watch sex and the city on a loop than sit through this again!

jana

Really bad, and quite boring. It was not a commedy nor drama but something in between badly done...shame because there were good actors in it

jana

Really bad, and quite boring. It was not a commedy nor drama but something in between badly done...shame because there were good actors in it

Melissa

I'm still cross that I wasted £8 and 2 hours of my life on this lazy shallow pile of rubbish. How can you empathise with a main character whose face is so frozen that she is incapable of displaying any emotion.

Melissa

I'm still cross that I wasted £8 and 2 hours of my life on this lazy shallow pile of rubbish. How can you empathise with a main character whose face is so frozen that she is incapable of displaying any emotion.

Hannah!!!!

the lamest movie ive seen its was the a cheap remake of sex and the city and they looked just like the characters too and y at the end are the models still stick thin... hardly an empowering change for the 12 year old! why are women still shown as just shopping gossipers...booooo

Hannah!!!!

the lamest movie ive seen its was the a cheap remake of sex and the city and they looked just like the characters too and y at the end are the models still stick thin... hardly an empowering change for the 12 year old! why are women still shown as just shopping gossipers...booooo

fazersmart

Boring- what a chance missed. great cast, great jokes but missing the most important thing- A STORY! I had no idea what was going on or what we were waiting for until it ended.

fazersmart

Boring- what a chance missed. great cast, great jokes but missing the most important thing- A STORY! I had no idea what was going on or what we were waiting for until it ended.

Jayne

My sister and I went on Wednesday and did not stay for the ending. We had no interest in any of the charectors as the script did not allow you to bond with any of them. The acting was wooden and unfeeling...And what's the burning of the tampax all about!!!! Debra Messing and Meg Ryan should have swapped characters. Please don't waste your time with this load of crap.

Jayne

My sister and I went on Wednesday and did not stay for the ending. We had no interest in any of the charectors as the script did not allow you to bond with any of them. The acting was wooden and unfeeling...And what's the burning of the tampax all about!!!! Debra Messing and Meg Ryan should have swapped characters. Please don't waste your time with this load of crap.

bogolo

This is the worst film since the 1993 Mel Gibson film, "Maverick" (the one where he's a train robber or card shark or something in the old west). These are the only two times i've stormed out of a cinema in disgust

bogolo

This is the worst film since the 1993 Mel Gibson film, "Maverick" (the one where he's a train robber or card shark or something in the old west). These are the only two times i've stormed out of a cinema in disgust

Edna

Probably the worst film I have ever seen. Commenting further is not even worth it.

Edna

Probably the worst film I have ever seen. Commenting further is not even worth it.

clare elliff-glennon

Didn't get most of the comedy...it just wasn't funny, I was sure a bloke had directed this becasue the women's script was terrible all the way through, it was very unrealistic aswell! It was an extremely bad copy of Sex and the City...what the hell happened to this film!! What's happened...?!!

clare elliff-glennon

Didn't get most of the comedy...it just wasn't funny, I was sure a bloke had directed this becasue the women's script was terrible all the way through, it was very unrealistic aswell! It was an extremely bad copy of Sex and the City...what the hell happened to this film!! What's happened...?!!

Goldilocks

A very poor film, extremely disappointing. If i can be so bold to advise, stay at home, don't waste your money.

Goldilocks

A very poor film, extremely disappointing. If i can be so bold to advise, stay at home, don't waste your money.

Pamela Van Fleet

Most of the ratings on this page are too harsh - I found it entertaining, a bit slow in parts and the acting a bit play like with deliberate one liners, I did not know how to described until I watched the original and the direction and presentation of th lines was like a 1930's movie. The story line much better than the original and Bergman terrific - she is her typical Murphy Brown no nonsense character and funny. The manicurist is terrific in her mono log & Debra Messing great in her lounge in check portrayal of a woman with too many kids giving birth for one more time - come on rate the play for what it is and sit back and enjoy how far women have come since the 1930's. It is though 100 a "Chick" flick" no men in the film at all like the original, although much better whether you like Meg Ryan or not.

Pamela Van Fleet

Most of the ratings on this page are too harsh - I found it entertaining, a bit slow in parts and the acting a bit play like with deliberate one liners, I did not know how to described until I watched the original and the direction and presentation of th lines was like a 1930's movie. The story line much better than the original and Bergman terrific - she is her typical Murphy Brown no nonsense character and funny. The manicurist is terrific in her mono log & Debra Messing great in her lounge in check portrayal of a woman with too many kids giving birth for one more time - come on rate the play for what it is and sit back and enjoy how far women have come since the 1930's. It is though 100 a "Chick" flick" no men in the film at all like the original, although much better whether you like Meg Ryan or not.

usman khawaja

this supposed remake of the 1939 classic is the worst movie meg ryan ever made and same can be said sadly about candice bergen who both play mum and daughter in this new york set feminine drama which only got made as a promo for SAKS ,even as an advertisement for saks= IT IS TOTAL RUBBISH . - jbz7879

usman khawaja

this supposed remake of the 1939 classic is the worst movie meg ryan ever made and same can be said sadly about candice bergen who both play mum and daughter in this new york set feminine drama which only got made as a promo for SAKS ,even as an advertisement for saks= IT IS TOTAL RUBBISH . - jbz7879

Jenny

What a disappointment. Bette Midler and Candice Bergen have the best lines, but they cannot redeem this awful film. What on earth has happened to Meg Ryan's face? Trout pout and an overdose of Botox - most offputting as she can hardly move her face. The ending with the rush to hospital as the earth mother is about to give birth is truly excruciating. Cliched, not funny or entertaining - which just about sums up this film. Nice shots of Manhattan, however.

Jenny

What a disappointment. Bette Midler and Candice Bergen have the best lines, but they cannot redeem this awful film. What on earth has happened to Meg Ryan's face? Trout pout and an overdose of Botox - most offputting as she can hardly move her face. The ending with the rush to hospital as the earth mother is about to give birth is truly excruciating. Cliched, not funny or entertaining - which just about sums up this film. Nice shots of Manhattan, however.