The Women 

Reviewer's grade: D+

Yes, "The Women" is yet another remake, and yes, the original picture was so good and so well cast and so much of its own time (1939), remaking it seems doomed to failure. It's only half a failure. Mary Haines (Meg Ryan) has been happily married to Wall Street hot shot Stephen for 13 years when he begins a fling with the spritzer girl at Saks Fifth Avenue. She works the perfume counter. Big joke, repeated ad nauseum. Mary's best friend, Sylvie (Annette Bening), finds out about the affair and then Mary does, too, while getting a manicure at Saks. Should she dump Stephen or forgive and stay with him? Her mom (Candice Bergen) gives her questionable advice, as do friends Sylvie, Edie (Debra Messing), and Alex (Jada Pinkett Smith).

What's a girl to do? When she finally decides to go after the department store Delilah (Eva Mendes), the backs arch and the ears get laid back. Ryan is the real flop, however. She used up her ration of cutesy years ago, and now that she has to rely on acting, she's about as necessary as house slippers for a snake.

I'm not sure why the women in the audience I was with laughed so hard at this mess, but they probably think I'm just a man and don't know any better. And I can't disagree with them about that. PG-13

"?Doug Bentin

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