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Wed September 10, 2008
By John DeSando, WCBE's It's Movie Time
"Women over fifty already form one of the largest groups in the population structure of the western world. As long as they like themselves, they will not be an oppressed minority. In order to like themselves they must reject trivialization by others of who and what they are. A grown woman should not have to masquerade as a girl in order to remain in the land of the living."
Wild Hogs, Because I Said So, and Devil Wears Prada?now why do I link those films with the new chick-flick, The Women? They're not all losers like Women, but each illustrates the strengths and weaknesses of the current unlaughable comedy.
To start: The Women is a failed comedy about mostly women of a certain age or approaching it struggling either to save their marriages, keep their high-profile jobs, or deal with new girlfriends. All very modern but flat because writer and first-time director Diane English gives her ladies mediocre lines (approached with an offer of a face lift, fashion editor Sylvie Fowler (Annette Bening) retorts, "It's my face; deal with it").
In updating the original 1939 film with screwball queen Rosalind Russell, English may have bled the wit right out of the script. But I still love women in general.
John DeSando teaches film at Franklin University and co-hosts WCBE 90.5's It's Movie Time, which can be heard streaming at http://publicbroadcasting.net/wcbe/ppr/index.shtml at 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm and on demand anytime at http://publicbroadcasting.net/wcbe/arts.artsmain?action=sectionIndex&sid=13 . Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.RR.com