Not Another Third Act Letdown!
The play this movie is based upon and the original film adaptation of the same are not tremendously different from each other, a product of their time where bold feminist statements had an audience, if not a deep general understanding of their meaning. In that environment, a story that featured only strong women and their struggles somehow managed to revolved around the unseen men in their lives.
The update naturally tries to break that mold with a more modern perspective. The men are there, still unseen, and still with an effect on their lives, but they try to strike a balance. Yes, men have their place, but there's more, at least for these women.
In this translation, we lose the original structure somewhere before the mid-point. It's a necessary change if you're going to embrace that the story really is about Women. An act of betrayal changes from stealing a man to a career decision - a good move there. The number of characters is reduced and the focus kept on a select few - that's probably says more about the modern attention span than anything else.
By the third act, the story loses its way, and resolves into some pleasant-enough affirmations of womanhood, motherhood, and female friendship. It might be unfair to compare against the original here, which has a tightly plotted and satisfying conclusion, if a bit of an outdated one. By shifting focus so much, the remake leaves a void that isn't sufficiently filled by the new elements that are added. Consider that the "villain" of the piece, Crystal Allen, more or less disappears for the third act, dismissed from the screen like any of the men.
They do leave the best "note", if you will, for the end - I won't give it away, but you'll know what I'm talking about. It just doesn't make a difference in terms of the film as a whole
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