Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Stepford Wives (Remake)

Year: 2004
Director: Frank Oz
Writer: Paul Rudnik
Genre: Thriller, comedy

I don't know what Frank Oz was thinking when he made this movie but I can attempt to guess at it. It's the 2000s and feminism is over and done with. Women are completely equal. Actually, women might even be more powerful now and are definitely wearing the pants and asserting it. So, let's make fun of that! Even the original movie was pretty hilarious! Men wanting their wives to be subordinates to them? Naaaah that's so dumb we've got to ratchet it up times a million now! That's what I think he was thinking and it just not work for me.

You see, in this take of the film, Joanna is no longer a sort of meek feminist. She's now a powerhouse media icon along the lines of Oprah. She has tremendous power and only loses it when one of her TV shows causes far too much of a ruckus for the CEO. They fire her, and in an attempt to make her feel better, her husband whisks the family away to the gated community of Stepford.

One of the things I don't like about this film is that it immediately presents the women as 100% warped from the get go. There's no question as to the fakeness of them and maybe they figured everyone already knew. Still, that basically kills off all potential growing drama when there's nothing to wonder about. Beyond that, Joanna is tremendously unlikable. She is what I imagine a lot of men view feminists as. They are always stiff and unfeeling in their dark power suits and have nothing but disdain for most around them. Since I believe the point of the original The Stepford Wives is still pertinent I find this version to be mocking the mere notion of it.

Anyway, beyond that the movie is actually very different from the original film. It takes mostly a life of its own by injecting some new characters and changing around the big reveal. I guess that's cool because then it would give people more of a reason to see the new film. There's nothing more useless than a remake that is a carbon copy of the original. Still, I'm not sure the changes that were made were for the best. I guess there's nothing I can do about it now though except wait for the eventual remake of this remake to come out down the line.

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