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The Women

A Botoxed ode to Saks Fifth Avenue
By BRETT MICHEL  |  September 9, 2008
2.0 2.0 Stars

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In 1994, Meg Ryan decided to star in a remake of George Cukor’s 1939 film of Clare Boothe Luce’s 1936 play, The Women. During the project’s long trek to the screen, it seems she also decided to remake her face to look the way it did in ’94 — if she’d had Angelina Jolie’s lips. (Did Russell Crowe hit Ryan with a phone?) Rewritten, directed, and produced by foe-of-family-values Diane English in a flat style that betrays both her TV roots and her status as a first-time director, this Boston-shot, New York–set ode to Saks Fifth Avenue boasts the same hook as the original: an all-female cast. Ryan has the Norma Shearer role as privileged wife Mary Haines, whose rich friends (Annette Bening, Debra Messing, and Jada Pinkett Smith) from the publishing and fashion industries rally to her side when her philandering off-screen husband hooks up with the Saks “spritzer girl” (Eva Mendes). As Mary’s mother, Candice Bergen cracks numerous plastic-surgery jokes that, in the face of Ryan, tug uncomfortably tight. 114 minutes | Kendall Square

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