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The Stepford Wives

Comedy movie directed by Frank Oz

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"Oh, I feel like Nancy Drew in the mystery of the mid-life crisis"

  • Aug 30, 2009
Rating:
+4
Frank Oz's eagerly awaited comedy/thriller remake of THE STEPFORD WIVES turned out to be a great big fizzer when it was released in the summer of 2004. Whilst it does pale in comparison to the earlier 1975 Bryan Forbes film (based on the controversial Ira Levin novel), I believe that the remake of STEPFORD WIVES still has the ability to stir debate and argument about the delicate balance of power in married relationships.

When hard-driven TV executive Joanna Eberhart (Nicole Kidman in a most unattractive brunette dutch-boy haircut) is fired from her job following the deadly aftermath of one of her television projects, husband Walter (Matthew Broderick) arranges for the family to relocate to the small Connecticut gated community of Stepford.

There, Joanna's very principals are undermined as she finds herself in a world of perfect picket fences, Barbie doll-beautiful women and their very ordinary husbands. When Joanna and Walter finally discover the horrific secret behind Stepford's glossy facade, will it be too late? THE STEPFORD WIVES, even in this watered-down comedy version, still asks the potent question of how successful is a wife 'allowed' to be until she begins threatening her husband's masculinity.

Bette Midler and Roger Bart add the bulk of the comedy with their supporting roles as two more cynical Stepford residents trying to rail against the system; and as always Glenn Close is a scene-stealing marvel as Stepford's resident grande dame (a kooky performance I love to refer to as "June Cleaver on smack")! Nicole Kidman never does comedy especially well but has a charming presence, and Matthew Broderick is always great playing the nerdy nebbish. Recommended.

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More The Stepford Wives reviews
Quick Tip by . September 16, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Had fun watching this on TV yesterday. It's entertaining as well as good scripting. A movie that may appear silly at first but highly intellectual and interesting for the ending. Great cast!
review by . January 05, 2005
Once again Nicole Kidman has proven to the world that you don't have to be that talented to be a big success. Ever since "Moulin Rouge" and "The Hours," people have been gushing about how glamorous and great Kidman is. Perhaps I'm in the minority here, but if it weren't for Tom Cruise, we probably would have never heard of her. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed her in "The Others," but none of her other movies have ever made me breathless or cry.    "The Stepford Wives" …
review by . November 11, 2004
THE STEPFORD WIVES is a funky outing that takes to task the dumbing down of the wealthy class. While everyone knows the plot of the original book and 1975 movie, few will recognize the parody that Frank Oz has created. Everything is over-the-top, including performances by such actors as Nicole Kidman, Glenn Close, Matthew Broderick, Jon Lovitz, Roger Bart and Christopher Walken - each of whom seems to be out to do parodies of their usual 'roles'. But if you like movies like Practical Magic and Rat …
About the reviewer
Byron Kolln ()
Byron has been actively involved in theatre since the age of 12. He has had a great variety of roles (both on-stage and off). In addition he has hosted the long-running "Show Business" programme … more
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About this movie

Wiki

An all-star cast remakes the 1975 socio-political horror flick,The Stepford Wives. After being fired as president of a television network, Joanna (Nicole Kidman,Moulin Rouge) has a nervous breakdown, prompting her husband Walter (Matthew Broderick,Election) to take her to a simple Connecticut town called Stepford to recuperate. But Stepford is a little strange: The schlubby husbands congregate at a closed-doors men's club, while the wives--all in bright summer frocks and air-brushed smiles--exercise to keep their hourglass figures and cook endless pastries. Joanna, along with new arrivals Bobbie (Bette Midler,Beaches) and Roger (the very funny Roger Bart), soon discover that the mastermind of Stepford (Christopher Walken,Communion) has used cybernetics to "perfect" womankind.The Stepford Wiveshas some satirical zingers (from sneaky screenwriter Paul Rudnick,Addams Family Values), but the basic idea has lost a lot of gas since 1975. Also featuring Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction).--Bret Fetzer
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Details

Director: Frank Oz
Genre: Comedy
Screen Writer: Paul Rudnick, Ira Levin
DVD Release Date: November 9, 2004
Runtime: 93 minutes
Studio: Paramount
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