The one thing Diane English and Clare Boothe Luce’s “The Women” taught me was something I already knew: all men cheat, and so do most women.

I went into this movie wanting to simply love it. To throw my hands up in the air and say “They got it! They understand!” But the fact is the plot was not developed enough during major transition periods for the movie to feel whole.

And so it begins on the streets of New York City, or so the makers of this movie would have you believe. But anyone paying half an ounce of attention will tell you that this backdrop is a thinly veiled Boston, case and point the Burberry on the corner of Newbury Street by the Boston Commons. The scenery is beautiful, the writing is fairly witty and the characters jump off the screen exuding personality and sass.

Which is the saving grace for this glorified chick flick.

There is a serious sense of lacking throughout the entire movie, a lack of men as not one single man made an appearance in this film; a lack of background information on the relationships between the central characters; a lack of humanity; a lack of realism.

It would be shocking to find Meg Ryan’s Mary Haines, Annette Benning’s Sylvie Fowler, Jada Pinkett Smith’s Alex Fisher and Debra Messing’s Edie Cohen to be real life friends, since they have absolutely nothing in common besides mutual social status and wealth. The juxtaposition of their lives is unfathomable, how did these people, besides Mary Haines and Sylvie Fowler (who became friends in college) become friends? There is no mention of mutual activities, mutual friends or in fact mutual respect.

This movie promotes itself about being a story of women figuring out who they want to be through spontanteity and innovation. It just seems that however hard they try, they still have not found exactly what they are looking for.

Cheap seductress Crystal Allen is played flawlessly by Eva Mendes, whose man-eating ways are a little too realistic. What leaves a nagging feeling is the fact that when Ryan’s character confronts Mendes’ character about having an affair with her husband, it is unrealistic. Why would a woman who has been married to her husband for 13 years act so rationally when standing in a La Perla dressing room with her husband’s mistress clad in nothing more than glorified electrical tape?

While Smith brings hilarity into the Lesbian spitfire she plays, Messing played the part of the hippie mom with too many children perfectly. All I have to say is, with one sheer horrific scream in the delivery room, Messing showed off her acting chops and vocal stamina all at once. The movie had potential for heartfelt introversion and deep and meaningful talks, but it seemed to be lost in the fluff. Why couldn’t starring character Mary Haines have had a secret dream to be a surgeon or college professor or poet? It had to be fashion designer, as if women had no other aspirations in this world than to be dressed beautifully and make pretty clothes.

The movie had a great deal of potential and was entertaining nonetheless. I laughed plenty, but never once was I moved to tears. The sense of lacking was palpable and the characters could have been developed more and giving more well-rounded personas.

I started out the ultimate cheerleader for this movie but it left me cowering under the stands, waiting for more but being sadly disappointed.

About The Author

Dinah Alobeid is a Blast correspondent

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