Sunday, April 22, 2007
In the Land of Women - through the eyes of Santa Claus
You know the joke that goes something like, the Easter bunny, Santa Claus and the perfect couple were driving around together and had an accident - who survived? Obviously the perfect woman because the others are fictional. Well, that's sort of how the Adam Brody character came across In the Land of Women. Most of the female characters were pretty decently written, and had some complexity to them that made for fairly fresh and compelling material - a teenage girl who doesn't know how or who to hook with, and a stay at home mom who has realized that she only defines her life in terms of what her family has accomplished, rather than her own actions. For the most part the acting was pretty good, partiularly Meg Ryan (though her lips are still distracting) playing a woman dealing with her own choices and the devestating news of cancer. They all had secrets that actually made them more interesting women, and revealed themselves a little. The part I couldn't buy was this articulate, sensitive, 26-year-old, cutish guy who felt the need to reconnect with his grandmother, then treated her like crap, while trying to befriend the neighbor women in an effort to get over his girlfriend dumping him. The dialogue walked a very fine line between intellectually creative and cliched, usually ending up on the better side. Overall, I liked the movie - it had some new points of view and good women characters, but I left feeling like not much had been resolved in the way they kept setting it up - just that it ended. This not-so-perfect fictional guy finds some sort of will to go on after meeting these women, and the women weren't the cohesive group one would expect in a whole land of women. The supporting cast adds a few terrific laughs too - the younger daughter confesses to being afraid she'll get stuck in yoga poses, and the Grandmother (played very strangely by Olympia Dukakis) answers the door without pants.
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