A wealthy New Yorker leaves her cheating husband and bonds with other society women at a resort.*
This was another movie I never intended to see. But, it was on …
First, the glaring issue running throughout the film – it is a cautionary tale about bad plastic surgery. Several of the women in this cast were, at one time, considered attractive to some degree. Unable or unwilling to age gracefully, they have undergone procedures that have turned them into caricatures. Scary, rubber-faced caricatures.
Now, to the film itself – also a scary caricature…of the far superior movie it claims to update.
- Meg Ryan plays Mary Haines as a ditsy, uninvolved, overwhelmed mother. It’s hard to feel any empathy for her, which makes the story arc a tough sell, indeed.
- Annette Bening is a grating Sylvie Fowler, a poor echo of the positively caustic Sylvia from the other versions.
- Eva Mendes‘s Crystal Allen seems barely appealing enough for a one-night stand, let alone worth leaving your family for (except that Meg Ryan plays the wife as ridiculously unappealing, too)
- Debra Messing is Edie Cohen, playing her as a schlumpy, goofy earth-mother. Hard to believe how Messing could become even less appealing than she has been in other projects, but she managed it here.
- Jada Pinkett Smith, always grating, is cast as butch-Lesbian Alex Fisher. Oddly, hers is one of the least irritating characters in the film (which isn’t really saying much with this script)
- Bette Midler is cast as Leah Miller, an apparent fill-in for Countess De Lave who, in the original, was both amusing and pivotal. Midler’s character has no purpose in this film. Her inclusion, in fact, was so odd I’d have thought it was spliced in from a different movie if she hadn’t dropped the name “Buck Winston” (the cowhand who wooed Countess De Lave). If they weren’t including the rest of her story-line, there was no reason to have her at all.
The list goes on – and on – and on. I could go through the entire awful cast, the awful butchered script, the bland direction, the ridiculous ending.
Unless you are in the mood for a glaring example of how not to remake a classic, avoid this one.
* This description is from IMDB for this remake, but it describes the original. The divorce resort is not a part of the 2008 version.
The Rotten Tomatoes: Critics 13%; Audience 41%