A group of socialite women is shocked when one of their own, Mary (Norma Shearer) (Meg Ryan), is being stepped out on by her husband. Mary is unsure if she should confront her husband about the affair with the shop girl, Crystal (Joan Crawford) (Eva Mendes) or keep quiet about it till the storm blows over.
Of course, having said that, the performances were really amazing. Norma Shearer was a wonder as the hurt wife. Rosalind Russell as the biggest hen of them all, without any loyalty whatsoever. Joan Crawford was delightful as the uber-bitch mistress, totally unapologetic about her role in the whole mess. I don't mind some women being shown as catty, because there really are some of them out there, but this film would have you believe the whole lot of us are like that and can't be trusted to be a true friend. That really made me uneasy about the whole film. I really should have enjoyed it for what it was probably, but somehow, I think I misplaced my funny bone.
Bening) sending Mary into Saks on purpose to find out the truth about her husband like in the original, she tries to prevent that from happening. It really is nice to see that change about how the women were portrayed.
The problem in changing that is that you really did lose something. The actresses didn't stand out as much in this version. The break-neck speed that I love in older movies, is slowed way down for the new version. The acerbic wit is mostly toned down because they aren't as bitchy now, and I really did love the wit of the original. Also, Eva Mendes, though seriously smoking hot in this, will never be the uber-bitch that Joan played so deliciously in the original. Joan's wicked performance in the bath tub scene was perfect in the original. Plus, at the end when Debra Messing is talking and she says, "and I am sorry I can't stay here long" I was already screaming at the TV, "PLEASE don't let it be a rush to the hospital labor scene with all the labor room antics. I am so sick to death of those scenes in romantic comedies!" Well, you can guess what happened there. So you can guess I really didn't enjoy the last 10 - 15 minutes of the remake.
So I realize I am totally talking out of both sides of my mouth on this. Why can't the updated one have the fast pace and the razor-sharp wit of the first, while retaining the theme of women friends actually WANTING the best for each other and supporting one another? You may wonder which one I liked better? If I had to rate the two, I would definitely have to say the original was a better movie, hands down. However, if you ask which I enjoyed more? Probably the remake, and that is pretty sad for me to say. I think you definitely need to see both and draw your own opinions.
For another take on it, please read Jenny's brilliant take on the original, as compared with another modern day chick flick, the Jane Austen Club. Check it out here.