12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
You'll Laugh, You'll cry. you'll sleep,
This review is from: The Women [DVD]  (DVD)
A group of friends rally round Mary as her cheating husband tears her world apart. That's it! In the now popular tradition this is hoped to be held together by the sheer weight of stars involved. Annette Benning is as reliable as ever as she plays a treacherous career woman,(apparently your friends cheating on you is worse than your spouse!), Jada Pinkett Smith is given no lines, just angry looks, as a Lesbian writer,(a relationship with a model is set up & then forgotten about), Debra Messing is made to look scruffy and a pig because she's a 'breeder'( and of course her kids are uncontrollable little ratbags), Eva Mendes is eye candy, Bette Midler makes a brief appearance but is not given a single funny line & Meg Ryan plays the same character she has always played since she claimed the rom-com title as her own, the put-upon but lovable quiet one. The only actress given a chance is Candice Bergen & god bless her she is the only person to walk away from this unholy mess with her held held high.
The idea of having no men is surely to reinforce the understanding that women apart from men are fine thank you very much but instead the plot belittles that at every turn. Ryan's character not only falls to bits at her hubbies infidelities, keeps hankering after him, fails as a mother and friend but in the end is only happy when the unfaithful git begs to come back to her! Bennings character is destroyed by her being a career woman and even Bergen's mother has had to ignore her husbands unfaithfulness in order to survive. The icing on the whole cake is that they are all stock hollywood characters who are all rolling in money.
This is so confused that it could only be saved by some really sharp scripting. Unfortunately these proven & reliable actors are given nothing to work with, no humour, no insight & no depth. Add to this the ridiculous running time of 1hr 50 mins & the whole thing outstays it's welcome by a good 30 mins. Did the editor fall asleep?
If you want Meg Ryan doing her thing,( I'm not being snide, she really does rom com well), then 'French kiss' or 'Sleepless in Seattle' are great, if you want some reality then 'Friends with money' is excellent and if you're after the reality of a breakup then 'the breakup' is a painful but insightful watch. Of course if you really want to see how you don't need to cut the male of the species out of a film for it to show a multi-layered look at how women cope with relationships then 'American beauty' is unmissable and will leave you wondering why I was so generous & gave this sad mess a whole 2 stars!