Les Femmes, Toujours Les Femmes


I saw Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” the other day, and I have to say (and this is a compliment — really) that it is the best advertisement for tapas and Rioja I’ve ever seen. Before this extended culinary promotion, there was another sort of ad: the trailer for the remake of the 1939 classic “The Women.” (Click here to see it for yourself.) It seems as if this has been in the works since the heyday of Adam Ant and “99 Luft Balloons,” but finally this re-do, starring Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Debra Messing, et al, is almost upon us. It didn’t strike me as very yuks-inducing (mostly, it was an extended showcase for bad plastic surgery), but I wouldn’t count the new “Women” out. Why? Reportedly, it only cost $16.5 million, which it can recoup in a few weekends. It opens opposite the new DeNiro/Pacino flick, and somehow I don’t foresee many people arriving at the multiplex and asking themselves, “Honey, should we see ‘Righteous Kill’ or ‘The Women’?” This is a have-a-mani-pedi-meet-the-girls-for-lunch-and-a-movie flick all the way. I know, I know: the new “Women” looks like a late-80s sitcom, which is no surprise given that its writer/director, Diane English, came to fame with “Murphy Brown.” And perhaps it should premiere on the Lifetime channel instead of in theaters. And it looks to have none of the sophistication of the original “Women,” by Clare Boothe Luce. (But sophistication has been extinct ever since people started wearing tank tops and cutoffs in first class.) But at least it’s a movie with middle-aged women as stars. That’s a good thing.

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