In the Land of Women
What women want.
By John DeSando, WCBE's It's Movie Time
"Verbal ability is a highly overrated thing in a guy, and it's our pathetic need for it that gets us into so much trouble." Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
Listen up, young men. The secret to what a woman wants lies in the subtexts of Jon Kasden's In the Land of Women, the essence of the chick flick displaying the new age, sensitive guy in all his loving, listening, and longing.
Carter Webb (Adam Brody) is a tall, dark, and handsome twenty-six year old soft-porn writer whose new digs with his grandma prove a challenge for this generally introverted loner. He spouts the poetic dialogue and exudes mystery, making women fall in love with him on the first date. Not only does he make out with the babe across the street's mother (Meg Ryan), he also scores with her daughter (Kristen Stuart), all accomplished by talking.
Such turns out to be the secret subtext: Talking with a woman is a sure way to her heart, regardless of the age differences. So much for a recipe I already knew; it's getting any of them to listen that's the trick. Anyway, what works in this film is nectar to the women in the audience and a caution to the males who think that power and money do the trick. Wait a minute, that was Perfect Stranger. I'm in the wrong film, or maybe I'm just not used to talking to women who listen.
Beyond confirming what we might have known already, notwithstanding Chaucer's take that women want mastery, In the Land of Women is a slow, teary work that could have come only from someone who was allowed into the land. The rest of us just wait at the gate for the script.
"A woman wants the self-same sovereignity
Over her husband as over her lover,
And master him; he must not be above her."
Chaucer, The Wife of Bath's Tale
John DeSando teaches film at Franklin University and co-hosts WCBE 90.5's It's Movie Time, which can be heard streaming at www.wcbe.org Fridays at 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm and on demand anytime. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.RR.com