Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Just In Time...

...to ruin any kind of good feelings that Sex and the City built up about Lady Movies, here comes the trailer for the Dianne English/Meg Ryan remake of The Women.

Now, of course, it's totally unfair to put Carrie, Miranda, and their whole crew on the hook for what, at first glance, looks like a wretched remake simply because both feature central quartets of women who lunch together, strategize about their love lives, and somehow encounter Candice Bergen. Yet when The Women crashes and burns at the office -- and it will, both because Meg Ryan hasn't been bankable for years and because Sex and the City's wild success will cause many to inflate expectations -- look out for the "I guess chick flicks aren't profitable after all" stories.

As for the trailer...ech. A remake of The Women is a bad idea in the first place, given that the charm of the original lies in the kind of catty, gossipy behavior among a group of women that would seem incredibly politically incorrect in 2008. So the remake is then faced with the choice of being an insulting throwback or else revamped beyond recognition. And that's not getting into the casting, which manages to be admirably color-blind but at the same time tin-eared (there are absolutely actresses of color who can handle comedy better than Eva Mendes and Jada Pinkett-Smith).

I'm perfectly willing to eat crow if the finished product exceeds the low expectations this trailer sets. But yikes, does it seem like a tall order.

9 comments:

StinkyLulu said...

I'm not sure I think the trailer looks as bad as you do (though I do find the cast fairly off-putting and the adaptation seems more First Wives Club than Sex and the City).

That said, I wonder how the cheap-journo story of the LadyMovie summer will be written, with Mamma Mia and Traveling Pants 2 coming in July and August, respectively. If SATC proves to be the only hit, then it's the obvious story. If one or more of those other three do well, the intergenerational LadyMovie might be this year's Apatow-effect.

Joe Reid said...

I really do hope that's how it turns out, and I can certainly see Mama Mia and Traveling Pants 2 doing well.

Mollie said...

Just yesterday, a friend mentioned on her blog that she'd seen The Women, and I left a comment saying it's one of my all-time-favorites, and isn't it great that the rumored "remake" starring Julia Roberts (or whoever) never got off the ground? And my friend commented back, "Oh, it's happening. It's happening soon. And it's starring Meg Ryan." And I felt equal parts stupid and despairing. Wait, no, not equal; a little stupid, but mostly despairing.

In 1939 it was actually kind of progressive to make a movie with an all-female cast (let's ignore the fact that the tagline was "It's All About Men!"). And the whole script is driven by, and meant to comment on, the fact that women's lives and roles were so constrained at that time; they gossiped and stole each other's husbands because that was the only arena in which they had any power or control. I think The Women is kind of a black comedy, all about wasted potential. Actually, when you think of it that way, maybe the 2008 version won't fall so short of the mark -- it has "wasted potential" written all over it.

BeRightBack said...

Dude, you didn't even mention Debra Messing. What a terrible cast. And, it must be said, terrible hair all around. And so much of it!

Vance said...

I actually had high hopes for this but when I saw the trailer, it felt both dated and without the old style charms.

Yah, and what's with Debra's hair? Or any of them except Eva (Eva always looks great. Great enough that I would almost consider her on the "list").

patty m. said...

The Women does not belong in the delivery room. Nor does it belong anywhere near the year 2000. The beauty of the original lies in the way that the protagonist swallows her "pride" ("That's a luxury a woman in love can't afford to have!") after her husband's infidelity rather than pursuing a -gasp!- divorce. It's entirely misogynistic in a way that only a 1930's Shearer/Crawford/Russell movie can be.

If this is the two-parts-grrl-power-to-one-part-sisterhood-is-weepy revision that it looks to be, heads should roll.

jessica said...

I don't think a remake was necessary at all and I find it extremely depressing that pulling a dated, misogynistic gimick film out of the cobwebs is the only way to get a high-profile film in the works with an all-female cast. So, actually, I don't think the trailer falls too short of my current expectations.

T-Square said...

I have a feeling Messing will put The Women to rest quicker than Ryan. I mean, Ryan being bankable recently? Ha. But with longer hair and not quite looking like she needs a botox intervention... maybe? But Messing's bankability..... uh. Well, save being surrounded by gay men, zip.

I was kind of shocked by the pre-film trailers for SATC, as follows: The Women, Mamma Mia, Traveling Pants 2, and (swear I'm not making it up) Hancock. So, someone, somewhere, who cuts coming attractions together is thinking that a) this audience should see these movies, and b) these are movies that we should keep stored up top to access readily. I was surprised that the second showing I saw (with the above trailers list) didn't include the trailer my first view saw: He's Just Not That Into You. First off, tailor-made SATC joke, by a creative consultant from the show, and (shamefully) a book so many SATC addicts have clung to. If that piece of horse pucky does any bit of business, I'm throwing in the towel. It will be a "Ben Affeck has an Oscar?!" moment.

Joe Reid said...

He's Just Not That Into You may now hold the record for most actors I like in a movie I would never want to see. Don't do that to Ginnifer Goodwin and Justin Long, come on.