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The Women

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“It’s All About Men!” That was the slogan on the poster for The Women, the 1939 movie version of Clare Boothe Luce’s catty, all-female Broadway play. Directed by George Cukor, the movie starred Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell and Joan Crawford. Diane English, who created TV’s Murphy Brown, makes her feature debut with a remake starring Meg Ryan (who also produced). The result isn’t as bad as you might expect, but far less funny than you might hope. Ryan plays Mary Hanes, a Connecticut wife who discovers her husband is having an affair. Her friends (Annette Bening, Debra Messing and Jada Pinkett Smith) rally around her and scope out the “other woman,” a gold-digging Saks perfume clerk played by Eva Mendes. Though many of English’s jokes fall flat, she offers a more sympathetic view of women than Luce, who cracked that the women who inspired her play “deserved to be smacked across the head with a meat ax.” HH 1/2
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