Ladies Light

Once grand, The Women is now just another chick flick.

Women . . . in mall . . . how feminist.
Claudette Barius
Women . . . in mall . . . how feminist.

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Based on the movie by George Cukor and the play by Clare Boothe Luce. Rated PG-13. Opens Friday at San Francisco theaters.

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Off the top of my head, I can think of several gifted interpreters of women on the verge — Nicole Holofcener (Lovely and Amazing), Tamara Jenkins (The Savages), or even Pedro Almodóvar himself — who could have planed away Luce's viciousness without losing her satirical edge. Understandably, English — who put in the hard labor to bring her baby to term — wanted to direct. But she's the wrong person for the job, and, willy-nilly, she has reduced one of the wittiest women's comedies ever made to just another ho-hum chick flick. Lord knows, this summer saw enough of those.

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