oh, I am embarrassed to say that I plonked down some crisp bills on a ticket for the new silly movie called *the women* that purports to be some sort of remake of the fierce 1939 george cukor classic *the women* (based on the play by clare boothe luce and the screenplay by my idol anita loos).
1. the protagonist of sorts mary haines, or mrs. stephen haines, was originally played by the hippy, corny, wholesome norma shearer. she has been replaced by the mop-headed princess of perkiness meg ryan, who does her best to have anything resembling a personality, but her quirky outfits outshine even that and she kind of ends up seeming like the girl in all her other movies who dates tom hanks or billy crystal.
2. the original fast-talking dame and jungle red-wearing gossip bitch, sylvia fowler or mrs. howard fowler, was played by the extraordinary rosalind russell in the old black-and-white flick, and old mrs. warren beatty, I mean annette bening, does her best to replicate that sassy genius but best isn’t nearly enough, hon! she gets me down!
3. evil temptress and class-climbing ho (and let’s not forget spritzer girl) crystal allen was originally played to perfection by the haughty joan crawford, but the young eva mendes simply cannot possibly compete (though of course she is 100 x more attractive than the eyebrowless joan of yesterday.
4. I can’t remember the name of the actress who played edith in the original, but the chick from *will & grace* does an okay job of playing the mom of 8 girl children.
5. the token black chick, will smith’s wife, is in the new one as a lesbian and I’m not sure which character she is supposed to be based upon. certainly not the joan fontaine character.
6. mary haines’ mother in the original is kind of awesome (and the daughter was unbearably offensive) but I have to admit that candice bergen does get a few good lines in this new version. and you understand why she’s in it when you realize that the whole big mess was directed by diane english of *murphy brown* fame.
I won’t be the first person to slap the old *devil wears prada* slash *sex and the city* tag on this thing — it totally is just like that. one of those big luxury fantasy of NYC kind of movies. but it’s a real shame they couldn’t pass this script on to someone who could have really made something of it and retained some of the ultra-super-uber bitchy cattiness of the original, to say nothing of the clothes! the hats! the glamor! oh, it’s a movie that gay men took me to see originally, and watching it with a packed audience at the NFT, when was that, last year with lauren on the big screen was a huge treat. the witty badinage and persiflage snaps, crackles and pops and the whole thing sizzles with energy.