Film review: The Stepford Wives (2004), directed by Frank Oz
Joanna Eberhart (Nicole Kidman) is a high flyer in the TV business. When her latest reality game show fails rather spectacularly and she’s fired, she and her husband Walter (Matthew Broderick) move from the city to the nice, leafy town of Stepford.
Everyone’s very nice in Stepford. Most of the ladies of the town are like polite Barbie dolls, and it’s just a bit weird and unsettling. Walter quickly fits in with the group of men in town while Joanna befriends the free-spirited Bobbie Markowitz (Bette Midler) and the flamboyantly gay Roger Bannister (Roger Bart).
But something is up with Stepford. Why are the housewives so unreasonably perfect? Are the community leaders, the Wellingtons (Glenn Close and Christopher Walken), in fact leaders of some sort of weird cult, or is something much, much darker going on?
Also starring Jon Lovitz as Dave Markowitz, and David Marshall Grant as Jerry Harmon.
The Stepford Wives is a remake of a hugely influential film from the 1970s. The remake is generally slated by pretty much everyone, because remakes are rarely as good as the original. I’ve not seen the original, so have no preconceptions.
It’s perhaps not the best film ever, but it was entertaining and passed the time very well. The whole deal with the film, which I won’t mention if you for some reason or other haven’t heard it, is … well, disturbing. Can’t have women being their pesky selves now, can we? At least the ending did something to shake up the ancient “women should be pretty and quiet” view. Somewhat.
But as films go, I didn’t think it was a complete waste of time, even if I won’t be in a hurry to re-watch it.
3 out of 5 book club cupcakes.