9 Dec 2009

The Stepford Wives

This was a weird mix of a film. It had that combination of satirical, day time soap, and then thriller/horror. But lets get in depth

The film starts with a family from New York moving to the idyllic town of Stepford (DUM DUM DUMMM!!!!). It seems the perfect family, 2 children, parents love each other, the mother trying to break into a profession and the father already in an accomplished one. And of course the main character, Fred the dog.

All seems well in the community. The father, Walter, meets the men of the community and joins there association and the mother, Joanna, meets (Crazy) Bobbie.

The End.

OF COURSE NOT! But this is the day time soap part. Now we start to get clues to the behind the scenes. Women being perfect and not remembering significant things (Such as Van Sant not remembering the car crash). But why? We seen the Men's group meeting at the Eberharts house, allowing the men to sketch Joanna (kinda weird if you didn't know the reasoning behind it. EVIL reasoning). Other rudimentary tasks include reading a list of words. What could go wrong? Well then stuff does.

The party scene is when we first get to see 'robotic' nature of the wives. When Van Sant accidentally has alcohol she begins repeating herself constantly. Reminds me of a robot short circuiting. I wonder why? Can't be anything.

And its from here the movie changes. The audience know for a fact something is not right, but what? It leaves the suspense in the air creating a sort of tense atmosphere. Your willing Joanna and Bobbie to discover whats happening, because we are just as intrigued. That is until we start wanting Joanna to find out. Why Joanna only? Bobbie changes and this hits the audience the hardest of all the women changes. We have seen Bobbie and learnt her personality throughout the movie. We have become endeared to her but then the change is sudden.

Now the movie is firmly in the thriller/horror genre. We even see Joanna stab Bobbie which differs from the norm causing Bobbie Bot to go crazy and repeat herself. This leads to a climax at the end inside the Men's Association house with the mastermind Diz. The man from Disney. How could they???? From this scene we get this rather unsettling image:

The emptiness just dazzles me. I think it the slight smile that adds the creep factor. And the biggest twist? One of the rare occasions... there is no happy ending. The wives die. Done. The Men are happy. Done. The supermarket has a lot more business. Done. The Dog lives. YAY.

One thing that bugged me. What actually happens to the men? Walter was clearly a man that loved his wife, then he agrees to murder his wife just because some men say so. Would you not fight for your wife? Would you sacrifice who she is just so she has bigger breasts?

In this film the men Believe:

Personality and Love < Boobs.
Maybe to immature youths but not in the real world.

All in all: It was an enjoyable film. The acting the good, the story unique and the setting suiting it perfectly. Somethings confused me, like the men's disregard for there wives but it was enjoyable.

On an ending note: It must have been really cold on set (Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge).


Jackie said...

I have read reviews, Earl, that say the write must dislike women - but I disagree... I think the men are the ones shown in a bad way, as pathetic and spine-less. As you say, it is a weak man that will sacrifice his wife just for bigger boobs! (And yes, it was probably colder in the 70s as global warming hadn't set in yet!)

tutorphil said...

Love this review Earl - if I haven't said so before, you always write rather wittily - I KNEW the erect nipples were making you lot laugh... tsk tsk. But the daytime soap observation is good, and you trace the shifting in moods very well - personally, I love the solidarity between Joanna and the female psychiatrist - that whole scene is handled very well. There is something suggestion in the movie that the men 'suffer' because of the decision to replace their wives; when Joanna finds her husband in the chair and he's acting weird... and the bit just after the dog gets away, with the two men in the car, with one of them being too upset to drive; it's not just the allure of having perfect sexbots that encourages the men to do what they do, but just like any men's club, I assume to be part of the club means having to participate, and being part of the club means influence and power in terms of jobs, money and opportunities.

Bluejetdude said...

I never thought of the psychiatrist scene...
And what you say about the men is true. I just wish the film had explained WHAT happened to the men. But that would change what the movie was trying to do I suppose.

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