It’s not often I walk out of a movie feeling annoyed. It’s not often I walk out of a movie at all because to walk out, you have to be there in the first place. Films are too long and my concentration span is too short so I don’t do the movie thing much. But this week, I went to see The Women and I walked out before the end.*
I’ll skip the part where I thought the script was lame, the plot patronising and the characters paper-thin because I’m not a movie critic. Nor have I seen the original 1930s film on which this re-make was based. However. I do have eyes and some brain cells, all of which were unimpressed by the frozen faces of the women in The Women.
Shall we start with Meg Ryan? Let’s. I loved her in When Harry Met Sally. She was real. Vulnerable, quirky, unique, funny. A few years ago, Meg must have decided she didn’t like her lips. Too thin. Or perhaps she started worrying about the longevity of her career as a leading lady. Or maybe she was just having an ugly day. It happens. But somehow, it all translated into a decision to change her face. Now she looks generic, not unique. In The Women she resembles a Victoria’s Secret model, unrecognisable from her Sally days. I wonder if that was the point.
Back when she first had her lips inflated, her publicist denied it which was pretty silly given that it was painfully obvious (and obviously painful). Meg herself has always refused to comment beyond the ambiguous “People can do whatever they want to do. Who cares?”
Well, I care Meg. I care quite a bit. I care that I paid $16.50 and found three hours to go see a movie about women whose faces didn’t move. The only way you could tell a character in The Women was crying was when a tear rolled carefully down her immobilised face. A shouty voice? Oh! Someone must be angry! But all faces remained impassive and expressionless at all times.
Oh Annette Benning, I’m sad about you too. You’ve always been one of my favourite actresses. But in this film, you too were unrecognisable.