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April 2007

IN THE LAND OF WOMEN

By Wilson Morales

IN THE LAND OF WOMEN


Distributor: Warner Independent Pictures
Director: Jonathan Kasdan
Producers: Steve Golin & David Kanter
Cinematographer: Paul Cameron
Composer: Stephen Trask
Screenwriter: Jonathan Kasdan

Cast: Adam Brody, Kristen Stewart, Meg Ryan, Makenzie Vega, Clark Gregg, Elena Anaya, JoBeth Williams, Ginnifer Goodwin


 

   

Whenever you see a commercial to a film with the word, “women”, in its title, be prepared to see a chick flick. Hence, the film, “In the Land of Women” is indeed a chick flick in the sense that although the lead of the film is a male, the problem is his life and everyone else in the film are all female related. While Adam Brody presents some charm to this light hearted film, there are one too many stories thrown into the mix that makes the film convoluted and contrived.

Adam Brody plays mid-twenties aspiring writer Carter Webb, who’s been recently dumped by his actress/model girlfriend Sophia. When he comes to tell his mom (Williams), she too is depressed over her conversation with her mother (Dukakis). Seems his granny is not feeling well and mother wants to go spend time with her, Carter thinks he should go, considering he needs an escape the wonders of LA. So off he goes to Michigan and see that his grandmother, while living in a good neighborhood, needs to have the house cleaned. In her mind, she’s believes she’s dying soon, yet Carter thinks she’s just delusional. Across the street is Sarah Hardwicke and her daughters, high-school Lucy (Stewart) and 11-yr old Lucy (Vega). While Sarah is going through some physical heartache, Paige is going through her own teenage drama. Through the days that Carter is living in Michigan he gets to know the women in his area and their issues surrounding them and thinks that his life isn’t so bad compared to the stories he’s hearing.

The problem that this film has is that there are one too many subplots that go unresolved, and we are supposed to assume that this twenty-something slacker, who’s left one state to avoid one problem, can come to another and have the answers to everything. At the same time, he doesn’t even properly take care of his grandmother who’s certainly needs to be taken care of. It’s good to see Meg Ryan back on the screen, but if she’s going to play the mommy role now, couldn’t she had ask for some gaps to be filled in her character’s background. When she tells Carter that her husband is cheating on her, there’s no further development to this statement especially when we see hubby back and forth in scenes acting like a saint. If there’s a role for a grandmother in a film, it’s either to serve as the voice of reason or the laugh factor, and Dukalis does both, at times to an annoying degree. While there are a number of women issues that merit discussion, a character like Carter is certainly not person who will give answers when he himself is lost in his own world.


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