The Women (2008) Preview

Usually I start off the preview for a film by talking about how excited I am to watch it. Not this time! For the Girls Night Out section we jumped to an adaptation of a play. While we had a number of terrible musicals to choose from we at the BMT Media Empire HQ are always looking to buck trends. That’s right! We’re watching The Women… you know, that dramedy you definitely know came out starring Meg Ryan and an ensemble of women living it up in the Greater New York City Area. It’s based on the 1936 play by Clare Booth Luce, which ran on Broadway for a number of years and has been revived and adapted for the screen many times over. This is the latest such adaptation and the critics were less than thrilled. I’m less than thrilled to watch it. Thank god it’s only… 2 hours long! Gah! Let’s go!

The Women (2008) – BMeTric: 58.9

TheWomen_BMeT

TheWomen_RV

(This movie actually has a bit more votes than I would expect, and the number seems to just keep on growing. That initial rise is somewhat interesting, why would the early viewers hate on this movie so? Especially when the thousands of viewers that voted subsequently seem to agree with is about a ~5/10 film. I’m going to go ahead a assume it is a case of Early Viewers Are Fans syndrome, and that they tend towards hating what fails to meet expectations. But … who would have expectations about The Women? God … I hope this isn’t a The Internet Hates Things Aimed At Women thing. I really do.)

Roger Ebert – 3 stars –  “The Women” isn’t a great movie, but how could it be? Too many characters and too much melodrama for that, and the comedy has to be somewhat muted to make the characters semi-believable. But as a well-crafted, well-written and well-acted entertainment, it drew me in and got its job done.

(Wowza, is that two in a row? Very interesting take ultimately. I think he admired the actresses so much (as almost pitch perfect for the movie they were creating) he got a little blinded that the movie was in fact (as he even admits) just not good. We’ll see though. Maybe we’ve discovered a hidden gem.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlxwcwESDkQ

(I have to say… that didn’t look like the most boring thing in the world for one reason: literally everyone in the trailer is a woman. Even the extras and shit. It’s actually amazing and might make the film at least visually interesting to look at.)

Directors – Diane English – (BMT: The Women; Notes: Effectively her one-and-done directorial project. There is another movie called Timbuktu but it seems like it was never released.)

Writers – Diane English (screenplay) – (BMT: The Women; Notes: Well known as a writer for Murphy Brown. The Women was her only writing gig after that series went off the air. But guess what? There is going to be a new season of Murphy Brown (with Candice Bergen) this year, 20 years after its last season!)

Clare Boothe Luce (play) – (Known For: The Women; BMT: The Women; Notes: Was the U.S. Ambassador to Italy under Dwight D. Eisenhower.)

Anita Loos (1939 screenplay) – (Known For: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; The Women; San Francisco; Babes in Arms; Strange Cargo; BMT: The Women; Notes: An early screenwriter in Hollywood (her first screenplay was for a Griffith film in 1912). Her brother created the Blue Cross health insurance company.)

Jane Murfin (1939 screenplay) – (Known For: Pride and Prejudice; The Women; Come and Get It; BMT: The Women; Notes: She brought Strongheart the dog, Hollywood’s first canine film star, to the U.S. in the 20s.)

Actors – Meg Ryan – (Known For: Top Gun; You’ve Got Mail; Anastasia; When Harry Met Sally…; Sleepless in Seattle; Innerspace; The Doors; In the Land of Women; Kate & Leopold; Addicted to Love; City of Angels; Proof of Life; Courage Under Fire; French Kiss; When a Man Loves a Woman; Restoration; Joe Versus the Volcano; The Presidio; I.Q.; Flesh and Bone; Future BMT: Hanging Up; Amityville 3-D; In the Cut; Against the Ropes; Serious Moonlight; Armed and Dangerous; Ithaca; BMT: The Women; Notes: Mostly known for co-starring with Tom Hanks as love interests in three separate movies: Sleepless in Seattle, Joe Versus the Volcano, and You’ve Got Mail. She was married to Dennis Quaid for about 10 years.)

Eva Mendes – (Known For: Training Day; The Place Beyond the Pines; Fast & Furious 5; The Other Guys; Hitch; Once Upon a Time in Mexico; Stuck on You; Last Night; Out of Time; We Own the Night; Holy Motors; Bad Lieutenant; The Wendell Baker Story; Live!; Future BMT: The Spirit; Urban Legends: Final Cut; Exit Wounds; Lost River; Trust the Man; All About the Benjamins; Girl in Progress; Cleaner; A Night at the Roxbury; BMT: Ghost Rider; The Women; 2 Fast 2 Furious; Notes: Cuban-American, she’s the only one in her family to have been born in the U.S., her three siblings were born in Cuba.)

Annette Bening – (Known For: American Beauty; 20th Century Women; Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool; Mars Attacks!; Open Range; Rules Don’t Apply; The American President; The Great Outdoors; Ruby Sparks; The Kids Are All Right; Danny Collins; The Grifters; Bugsy; The Siege; Valmont; Regarding Henry; Postcards from the Edge; Ginger & Rosa; Richard III; What Planet Are You From?; Future BMT: In Dreams; Girl Most Likely; Running with Scissors; Love Affair; BMT: The Women; Notes: She was the original choice for Catwoman in Batman Returns, but had to drop out when she became pregnant. She’s been married to Warren Beatty for nearly 30 years.)

Budget/Gross – $16 million / $26,902,075 ($50,007,546 Worldwide)

(Eh, below what it probably expected. For a film like this you’d kind of want to double those numbers I would think. Not a bomb, but not really raking in much cash … unless The Women talk over their problems with a refreshing ice-cold Bud Light at one point that is.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 13% (19/146): The Women is a toothless remake of the 1939 classic, lacking the charm, wit and compelling protagonists of the original.

(Again, thank you RT. I guess this consensus is old enough to actually be useful. This is a brutal score for a film like this. I can only assume it is disastrously boring, which doesn’t bode well for me staying awake watching it on a plane. Reviewer Highlight: One of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.” – Richard Schickel, Time Magazine)

Poster – The Sklogettes (F)

women_ver2

(Nooooooooooooooooo. Why does this keep happening. Look at all the people! Look at the basic white color of it. Dear god, look at the spacing. Even the font is shit.)

Tagline(s) – It’s all about… (F)

(Lol. Wot? I mean I get it… it’s all about The Women but still… lol. Wot?)

Keyword(s) – divorce; Top Ten by BMeTric: 81.9 Kazaam (1996); 78.8 Striptease (1996); 77.7 Bratz (2007); 64.2 Dr. T & the Women (2000); 63.1 North (1994); 63.1 Beethoven’s 2nd (1993); 63.1 Ben & Arthur (2002); 62.1 Sliver (1993); 58.9 Mr. Woodcock (2007); 58.9 The Women (I) (2008);

(Oh shit, Kazaam. I’ve seen this movie (well, the first half of it …) so many times. Dr. T weirdly doesn’t qualify for BMT actually, so looks like we’ll never complete this list. My favorite movie with divorce? Why not Mrs. Doubtfire, great stuff.)

Notes – Tanya the manicurist (Debi Mazar) talks about meeting Madonna. Mazar and Madonna are long-time friends; Mazar appeared in four Madonna music videos: “True Blue” and “Papa Don’t Preach” (1986), “Deeper and Deeper” (1992) and “Music” (2000).

Like the 1939 version, the film has an all-female cast. (noice)

While the project was being put together in Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan were set to star. The production stalled because Roberts and Ryan ended up wanting the same role.

The painting in the restaurant scene features Courtney Love and Anna Nicole Smith.

In The Women (1939) the only scene in color was the fashion show sequence. In this version the fashion show begins with all-black and white clothes, and the scene before it takes place in a black-and-white room.

In the late 1970’s a remake of the 1939 classic was proposed to star Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand, and Faye Dunaway, but it was not made. (That sounds like this could have been fun)

Blythe Danner, Marisa Tomei, Queen Latifah, Whitney Houston, Ashley Judd and Sandra Bullock were all in the running for various parts in the film.

For scenes planned on being shot in the Boston Public Library, it was suggested that all the portraits and busts of men to be replaced with those of women. However, the scene was never shot. (Excuuuuuuse me? You talking ‘bout the Boston Public Library? Why would you not shoot that?)

There is an abundance of the use of the color green, from the color of the sets, props, costumes, in almost every scene throughout the movie. In the final fashion show, except for the models, almost every guest is wearing green.

Candice Bergen previously played Meg Ryan’s mother in Rich and Famous (1981).

Edie’s (Debra Messing) daughters are called January, April, May and June. The last three are the names of Daisy Duck’s nieces (counterparts to Donald Duck’s nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie).

Before development was put on hold in 2006, Annette Bening and Uma Thurman were rumored to have been considered for the roles of Mary Haines and Crystal Allen respectively. Also Lisa Kudrow and Anne Hathaway were in talks for the roles of Mirian Aarons and Peggy Day, but the roles were cut out of the final script.

According to Diane English, the project was in development, from the first draft to the final green light, for fifteen years. (Jesus. No wonder it ended up being a mess)

The original Broadway production opened on 7 September 1937 and had 666 performances at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York. (666? How does that happen I wonder. I would think with how superstitious theater operators are that they would have avoided it)

“The Women’s” screenwriter Anita Loos who wrote this film’s original 1939 screenplay, started her writing career in 1912 with her first full film screenplay The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912) starring Lillian Gish for the American Mutoscope & Biograph Co. which is still in existence today. After writing many scripts for Biograph, Loos went on to write such other films such as Saratoga (1937), Another Thin Man (1939), San Francisco (1936), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953).

Except for the newly-born baby boy in the final scene, there are no male characters in the entire film, not even the extras in wide shots. (That is actually quite cool)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett Smith, Meg Ryan)

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