After Sex and the City and Mamma Mia! drew crowds because they appealed to an underserved audience, will ladies of a certain age also flock to see writer-director Diane English's pallid remake of The Women?
If they do, it will be further proof that women are eager to see their concerns depicted on-screen.
English's update keeps the basic story – contented wife and mother Mary Haines (Meg Ryan) is shattered when she learns her husband is having an affair with shopgirl Crystal Allen (Eva Mendes)
A few of the best lines from the old movie are retained, but English tones down the catfights in order to celebrate sisterhood – there isn't a single man on camera.
The changes particularly hurt the character of Sylvie Fowler (Annette Bening). High-powered Sylvie has become less devious and more of a friend, which might please feminists, but it undermines the drama.
The film repeatedly sacrifices dramatic punch for political correctness. Bette Midler has a delicious cameo as Countess, the divorced Hollywood agent; but her role is badly truncated.
In the final payoff, the new Women sags when it should snap.
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