Plot: What’s it about?
Mary Haines (Meg Ryan) is a woman with immense talent, but she has always allowed those around her to shine, while she remains in the background. She works for her father or used to at least, as he fired her over her lackluster recent designs. Her recent work wasn’t a sign of her talent however, she was just frustrated by the limitations of her position. As if that isn’t bad enough, her best friend Sylvia (Annette Bening) has just learned that Mary’s husband is cheating on her. She keeps quiet, but Mary soon finds out and chaos soon unrolls. Mary confronts the woman her husband has taken in, kicks her husband out, and then endures a painful break up with Sylvia, all while dealing with all kinds of other issues. But can Mary pick herself up, move on, and become a better person, or will this recent conflict keep her down?
The parade of remakes continues, as 1939’s The Women has now been updated by Hollywood’s machine. As expected, all of the guns were pulled out and the cast is impressive, but this is more style than substance. The original The Women is a well respected movie, but after seeing this remake, it now shines like a true masterpiece. Despite a healthy budget, ample production values, and a star studded cast, this remake can’t hold a candle to the original. Meg Ryan, Eva Mendes, Candice Bergen, Debra Messing, Bette Midler, Annette Bening, and others are all here, but never stand out. This is because the source material has been watered down and doesn’t have the depth it needs, so the performances suffer. The Women has a few moments of brightness, but if you’re interested in the concept, skip this and rent the original.
Video: How does it look?
The Women is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. I didn’t expect this from a major studio new release, but this is one bland visual treatment. This movie has a lot of gorgeous women, but we’re forced to see them in flat fashion, as detail is mediocre and depth follows suit. This is a small upgrade over the DVD, but offers precious little incentive to step up, to be sure. The colors look solid, but contrast is inconsistent at times. I know this material could have shined, but for some reason, this transfer leaves much, much to be desired.
Audio: How does it sound?
A basic Dolby Digital 5.1 option is the lone choice, which is a disappointment, even given the film’s low key audio. I can’t imagine why a major studio wouldn’t include a lossless soundtrack, but such is the case here. The movie doesn’t need much power, so the front channels shoulder most of the burden. This one is all about the dialogue, but even so, a lossless track might have added some ambiance or what not. The vocals sound good, nice and clear, while the music pumps some life into the mix. Not a bad track, but not up to Blu-ray’s usual standards. This disc also includes English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes two featurettes (about half an hour total), as well as some deleted scenes.