thatcow

Tired

I watched this film on DVD. In watching the "extras" after the movie, I began to realize how far off the mark this movie is. In the interviews with the writers and the director, they are trying to write a comedy. Even the movie is categorized as Comedy / Drama / Thriller. It is at best a mild and tired comedy. There are attempts at outright jokes like these two: "Where could I have a town full of robots? Connecticut." Or this one about the jobs of the Stepford Husbands, "I worked at AOL." Joanna (Kidman) responds, "Is that why the women are so slow?" I think these are the only real joke lines I remember. The rest of it is based on situations and attempts at physical comedy.

Ira Levin's book was way ahead of it's time. Made into the original movie, it loses some of the satire and insightful social commentary. Made into this remake and updated for our "modern times" it becomes close to indistinguishable from any other summer movie.

Here's the basic story line. A successful woman's career crashes. Her family moves to Stepford to start again. All of the woman seem plastic in every dimension. It becomes clear that the men married to these women have been up to something. Apparently, they've discovered a way to put "microchips" into the brain and transform women into their idealized 1950 stereotype. Will our protagonist family fall into the same fate?

Kidman is not very good in this movie. It tries to become an ensemble movie with her closest peers being two new families that have moved to Stepford. One of the families is headed up by a populist author (Bette Midler) and the other "wacky" update to this film is the other couple is gay. So Kidman, Midler and the effeminate but fashionable gay man pal around in Stepford bemoaning the sterility of their new homes. Meanwhile, there is no sense of irony in watching this lifeless threesome try to work the story into a modern cynical tale.

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