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Movie Review: Steppford Wives 2.0


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Movie Review: Steppford Wives 2.0
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2004-06-14, 09:02

Warning: this version is not exactly the same as the original in premise or genre (this version is a comedy for the most part), so if you're planning on seeing it and don't want to know more than the vague details you already know, stop reading here.



OK, so the other night my better half and I are walking out of movie auditorium after seeing "Troy". We were in a reasonably good frame of mind; the movie was long, but well done all-in-all. Just had to make a facilities stop and then we were off. So as we're walking out (at this movieplex, Troy was playing on one of the screens furthest from the entrance), she stops me and says "Hey, Steppford Wives is right here [still far from the desk]... and it's almost starting."

Of course, any self-respecting woman will stop talking at this point and let the man finish the sentence, so if you get caught or fess up to it later in front of your embarrassed-for-you friends, it will clearly be "the man's fault." Well, I'm not inclined to do such things ordinarily, as I'm in my 30s and not my teens. The last time was about four years ago (even though you can watch two movies almost at will in this movieplex) when I had paid $16.00 for a movie that was SO bad and so poorly represented by the previews, that I felt the theatre "owed me one". Top-notch logic I realize, but I didn't feel the least bit guilty either.

Well, today I feel a little guilty, because despite the fact that I didn't want to pay $16 to see the 90 minute installment of the New Steppford, I gave in to temptation and watched the whole movie with the little woman at my side. That's where I saw the Fahrenheit 9-11 trailer BTW....

So anyway, I figured at the time, most likely this movie is going to suck but at least we will have avoided paying for the privilege. I mean it's got Christopher Walken in a sleazy roll (any guy who can't appreciate the genius of Christopher Walken needs therapy), so how bad could it be? Well as it turns out... not bad at all.

This version as noted earlier is much heavier on poking fun at the various social stereotypes we all play into, than it is serious commentary on gender roles (like the first, which was pretty heady for its time).

In the opening scene Nicole Kidman is a super-focused, hyper-enthusiastic producer of reality television (her demeanor at this point was reminiscent of Annette Benning in American Beauty). So she's at some sort of media-only event aimed at introducing "next season's big shows". In one clip, a couple is flown to a remote tropical island (a la Survivor) and forced to spend a week with a bunch of escorts and gigolos to see if their love can last.

Of course, the guy is some dip from East Cornhole Nebraska and despite spending the week with this beautiful woman that had legs up to his ears, he said bashfully admits they didn't have sex, and opts for his wife. And she in turn says something like "you know I would never hurt you, but I've decided 'I Can Do Better' (the name of the show), so I'm staying with [Tarzan]." She then proceeds to jump onto him and cling around his waist, whereupon the clip ends and mayhem ensues. There were some really funny moments because the connections to the real life shows were pretty obvious.

Eventually (for reasons I'll not give away), Nicole Kidman has a nervous breakdown and her loving husband Matthew Broderick, decides they should start over in the suburbs (not Manhattan)... and so to Steppford they go. From this point some of the obvious things begin to happen, and Bette Middler is introduced as the sarcastic woman friend who hates Steppford and refuses to abide by its ways. Her husband is played by John Lovitz, and I have to say the chemistry among all these people was very good. The best thing about this movie aside from some great one-liners, was the casting.

In the end the only problem I have with this movie is that there were some big inconsistencies with respect to how the women are utlimately made into Steppford Wives. The premise goes that they are the same women (not robots), but who have had neural implants, boob jobs, etc. But at the same time there are scenes throughout (both before and after this is explained) that make the malfunctioning women (notably Faith Hill) appear to be robots. Sparks flying, vertebral re-alignments without anestesia, etc. In fact there are several inconsistencies relating to this at the very end of the movie, to the point where it distracts you a little and you're left saying "yah but... how come x, y and z?"

All in all though, it is a pretty enjoyable movie. Men, a little advice: if you have a female companion who generally likes completely different types of movies than you do, and she wants to see this movie... pretend like you're making a big compromise (so it's her turn next) and go see it. It's 90 minutes, there are some good laughs and it's got Christopher Walken and John Lovitz. No brainer (pun intended)! Maybe you'll be able to sneak into Chronicles of Riddick afterward - which would definitely a win in the Man Column, even if the movie isn't great. No woman wants to sit through that.


...into the light of a dark black night.

Last edited by Moogs : 2004-06-14 at 09:11. Reason: Spelling
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HOM
The Elder™
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: The Rostra
 
2004-06-14, 11:12

I knew Walken was in it, but as soon as Lovitz's name showed up in the credits I knew it was going to be funny. I was surprised by how funny it was. I assumed that it was going to be schlocky, but it was clever and relatively intelligent. Unfortunately it just fell apart in the last 20-30 minutes. All in all it was funny and worth seeing if for nothing else than Nicole Kidman looked smoking hot.

CARTHAGO DELENDA EST

¡Viva La Revolucion!
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-06-14, 11:40

Yes, she is quite sexy. Ever since "Eyes Wide Shut", I've seen her in quite a different way.

A vixen, for sure.
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2004-06-14, 13:04

She was kinda hot in Cold Mountain too... particularly in the "love shack" scene. Mmmm. Fair-skinned beauty....
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bassplayinMacFiend
Banging the Bottom End
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2004-06-14, 15:01

What about Nicole's part in "To Die For"? She was pretty hot in that, even if she was just a cable channel weather-person.
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SKMDC
superkaratemonkeydeathcar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: chicago
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2004-06-14, 15:11

BILLY BATHGATE she's naked a lot.
i used to think of her as such a free spirit, the other night she was on letterman and i thought "man, this woman is wrapped too tight" something's not right there.

"What's a Canadian farm boy to do?"
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2004-06-14, 15:27

Never judge an actor's personality from their public appearances, particuarly talk show appearances. While you might be able to tell when someone is a real dick (because who would fake that?), you may not be able to tell if a person is laid back, up-tight or anything else. They're actors. They get paid to pretend like they're something other than what they are.


...into the light of a dark black night.
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SKMDC
superkaratemonkeydeathcar
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2004-06-14, 17:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs
Never judge an actor's personality from their public appearances, particuarly talk show appearances. While you might be able to tell when someone is a real dick (because who would fake that?), you may not be able to tell if a person is laid back, up-tight or anything else. They're actors. They get paid to pretend like they're something other than what they are.

no, i'm judging it by the difference in her personality on talk shows. her appearances in public as of late her personality has been that of a stick insect. like she might snap in two.
she used to be a lot less guarded and uptight.
she's a marvelous actor for sure, maybe a little oscar-itus, but she hasn't gotten it as bad as a lot of the men who've won it lately. *cough*spacey*cough*cage*cough.

"What's a Canadian farm boy to do?"

Last edited by SKMDC : 2004-06-14 at 18:01. Reason: can't type...can't spell...can't read
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Mac+
9" monochrome
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: I'm here
 
2004-06-14, 17:52

ahh... Ms Kidman - who could forget her seminal work in ... wait for it :BMX Bandits <- in a retro kind of way

Ahh... young Aussie talent!
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