In the Land of Women

Film
3 out of 5 stars
YOU'VE GOT MALE Brody checks out Ryan.
YOU’VE GOT MALE Brody checks out Ryan.

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Women love Carter Webb, the sensitive West Coast hipster played by Adam Brody in Jonathan Kasdan’s estrogen-steeped first feature. Little girls, teenagers and middle-aged mothers: Everyone adores him except his girlfriend, a Spanish model-actress (Anaya) who breaks off the relationship in a Hollywood coffee shop between autographs. Devastated, Carter retreats to small-town Michigan to look after his ill-tempered grandmother (Dukakis), who’s irrationally convinced that she’s dying.

It’s only a matter of minutes before he’s attracted the attentions of neighbor Sarah (Ryan), an unfulfilled housewife just diagnosed with breast cancer. Sarah’s teen daughter, Lucy, is smitten too, and after he’s traded passionate kisses with both mother and daughter, Carter will be lucky to get back to L.A. intact. It ain’t easy being catnip to women.

Brody gained celebrity personifying geek chic on television’s The O.C., and In the Land of Women does little to expand his screen persona. It’s a tribute to Brody that he pulls off this ironic charmer without ever seeming smug. But the screenplay by Kasdan is soggy with earnest clichs; when Sarah tells Carter she’s sick, it’s on their suburban street in the middle of a rainstorm. They may do it that way in Hollywood, but not in the heartland. (Opens Fri; Click here for venues.) — Tom Beer

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