The Women | Chicago Reader

The Women

Diane English, creator of TV's Murphy Brown, directs this update of the 1939 George Cukor melodrama (based on Clare Boothe Luce's play), filing away its barbed edges in a knee-jerk bow to sisterhood—the antithesis of Luce's take on female “friendship” as minefield. When seasoned comediennes Cloris Leachman, Candice Bergen, and Bette Midler aren't on-screen, English falls back on Meg Ryan in the Norma Shearer role of a saintly wife with a cheating husband. But Ryan, barely refining her When Harry Met Sally persona, is a dud; Annette Bening, playing the best friend who sells her out to a tabloid, is better in the scenes she doesn't share with her. Still, the script has a few zingers, and for the guys dragged along to this superfluous exercise, there's Eva Mendes as the home wrecker in La Perla undies. PG-13, 118 min.

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