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The Stepford Wives (Kidman)


I can't remember when I got too old (or cranky) to find silly funny, but it was certainly after I stopped finding stupid funny. This remake of The Stepford Wives unfortunately is both silly and stupid and therefore not very funny. This isn't to say there weren't some moments that made me laugh out loud (such as a quick but effective dig at AOL).

Kidman, Broderick, Walken, Midler, Close and the rest of the cast are talented but the screenplay doesn't do justice to their abilities. Behind Close's plastic smile I thought I detected an actor trapped in her contract, silently screaming "Oh God, what have I done?! Get me out of here!"

Kidman and Broderick's characters are pushed around at the end of a plot stick, manipulated for whatever "comedic" sequence or faux dramatic moment the script calls for. The inevitable twist to make the story palatable for 21st century consumption isn't the one I thought would happen (Kidman turns Broderick into a Stepford Husband instead), but it's not particularly innovative either. I really don't know if there is a way to make Levin's story work today, either as satire, comedy, horror or science fiction.

Frank Oz's direction wasn't sharp enough for the movie to work as a satire or broad enough for it to work as slapstick. I did like the title music, but then I've always had a thing for minor waltzes.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 24, 2005 10:28 AM.

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