Saturday, September 30, 2006

Stepford Wives II

The critics panned it, but I thought Stepford (2004) was a worthy remake of the original, which was terribly out of date and becoming irrelevant. As I said previously, the women of Old Stepford seem lazy when looked at from today's world, where we take it for granted that women work in corporate jobs. The new version accepts that, and turns the women into powerful business icons. But now, the men and women are lazy. They've all taken early retirement so they can spend quality time together in their palatial suburban mansions. Sure, there's still a Men's Association, but it's stocked with guy stuff: high tech video games and robots that fight each other. The women have their own "association": the Stepford Day Spa. Now seriously, given a choice is there an MBA woman on earth who really feels like this is discrimination?

The acting is not as good (am I the only person who thinks Matthew Broderick is an amateur?) and the whole movie feels like the Big Name stars had more fun making it than we have watching, so it disappoints in the sense that I left hoping they'd do more. For example, one of the key characters is a powerful woman who moves to Stepford after finding her husband in bed with her 20-something assistant. Would it be more satisfying for her to just dump the creep and go back to the Boardroom where she can take revenge by making piles of money -- rich, divorced, alone ? Or should she accept early retirement and a robotic implant so she can spend her afternoons at the Day Spa and her evenings dressed glamorously, in the arms of her happy husband?

The remake, like the original, just takes it for granted that men will do anything to keep their women. Somebody should do a movie that asks what women will do to keep their men.

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