The Stepford Wives Movie Review
In yet another unnecessary remake, the classic 1975 film The Stepford Wives has been redone, and for some reason has been transformed from a thriller into a lackluster comedy.
Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick, Bette Midler, Glenn Close and Christopher Walken head the all-star cast that somehow got tricked into signing onto this picture, which is directed by Frank Oz and written by Paul Rudnick. Rudnick, by the way, is the man behind such masterpieces as Marci X, Isn't She Great and Addams Family Values - note my sarcasm.
Kidman does a surprisingly drab job as the lead character Joanna, an ex-president of a major broadcasting station that moves to the town of Stepford, Connecticut with her husband (Broderick) to start a new life. Of course, as in the original, she starts to figure out that something is amiss as all of the other women in the town are absolutely perfect and pretty much mindless. The movie never takes advantage of the comedic timing of Walken, but both Midler and Close are fairly funny.
This new version of The Stepford Wives is not without some good jokes, but most of the comedy comes from the film's quirkiness. There is little substance behind the jokes, except for perhaps an intentionally campy moment near the end of the film that will definitely make you laugh. Unfortunately, most of the movie is just a bit dull, and the lead character is hardly motivational. Some scenes drag on for a while, and more than anything else, in the back of my mind I had the vague memory of the original that was actually exciting and suspenseful, instead of goofy and unoriginal.
The Stepford Wives has its moments, but overall fails to deliver in a satisfying way. The original movie is a better choice, but, if you're in the mood for a comedy... well, this film may need to be "perfected" before its worth your time.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.