Those of us who were fans of the original movie should have known better. You can't remake classics.
Despite first-time feature film director Diane English's best efforts, the 2008 version of the 1939 classic "The Women," falls way flat.
The film about a group of female friends stars Meg Ryan, Debra Messing, Annette Bening, Jada Pinkett Smith, Candice Bergen, Bette Midler, Debi Mazar, Cloris Leachman, Carrie Fisher and Lynn Whitfield (in a very small role), hits theaters today. Basically, it goes like this. Mary Haines (Ryan), is a rich Connecticut trust fund baby who works alongside her father in the family business. She finds out that her husband is having an affair with the spritzer girl (Eva Mendes) at the cosmetics counter in Saks. Mary, however, is the last to know as her best friend Sylvie (Bening) already got the scoop from the store's manicurist (Mazar) and spread the word among Mary's other two friends played by Pinkett Smith and Messing.
There are a few things wrong with these women. English tampered with the original script and changed some of the plot points, for no apparent reason. And, Ryan, Pinkett Smith, Bening and Messing don't really have any chemistry. The original worked because all of the women were high society socialites from the same world. In this one, Ryan is a disgruntled employee, Bening is an editor at a fashion magazine, Pinkett Smith is a lesbian author and Messing has babies--lots of them.
I applaud English for diversifying the cast, but making Pinkett Smith gay serves no purpose and Will's baby mama tends to overact in the scenes where she's wearing her sexuality across her chest. The only ones really holding their own are the B girls--Bergen and Bening.
"The Women" is definitely a film you should catch on cable if you really have to. My advice, however, would be to watch the original on TCM.