Saturday, November 27, 2004

Stuffed of turkey and mashed potatoes, but here is a Friday video review for you anyway ---

‘The Stepford Wives’
Vapid and pointless, the high-tech remake of ’70s camp classic “The Stepford Wives” has starpower and glitz, but it’s a big misfire. It’s one of these goofy star vehicles that looks like it was probably a lot of fun to film. On the screen, not so fun to watch.
The very phrase “Stepford Wife” has slipped into the vernacular since the original movie, meaning a woman who is too perfect to be true, a model housewife without a mind of her own. The updated movie tries to be relevant and satirical, taking on targets from reality television to gay rights, but it mostly misses the mark.
Nicole Kidman stars as Joanna, a high-powered TV executive who loses her job and moves with her husband Walter (Matthew Broderick) to the idyllic Connecticut town of Stepford, where everything’s a little too nice. The women are smiling, empty-headed housewives, while the men are lazy overgrown boys who spend all their time at a special men’s club.
The high-strung, trendy Joanna rapidly grows suspicious of the carefree Stepford life, and tries to find out its secret. Let’s just say that the women of Stepford aren’t quite what they appear to be. The result is an uneasy mix of comedy and thriller that stumbles.
The superstar cast of folks like Kidman, Christopher Walken, Glenn Close and Bette Midler would seem to indicate a solid pedigree for “Stepford.” But it’s the kind of movie that apparently ran out of script material halfway through, and it ends with one of the most ridiculously inept sequences I’ve seen in months.
There are a few laughs in “Stepford,” and some sharp moments, but for every pointed joke there’s three misfires. It shows the harsh marks of much cutting and re-editing before release.
Perhaps the most telling thing about “Stepford” is that, underneath all its posturing, it has absolutely nothing new or smart to say about men and women and how they interact. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth, and it’s a waste of time.
*1/2 of four

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