Stepford Wives, The

Everybody Smile!

Main Cast: Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick, Bette Midler, Jon Lovitz

Director: Frank Oz

Everyone needs a frothy little comedy every now and again, and this movie is it. Mix two parts situational comedy, a part of wry humor at the differences between the sexes, a few pinches of skewering of reality TV and how we live today, and lastly a dash of slightly dark anxiety… and viola! The Stepford Wives.

We first meet Joanna Eberhart (Kidman), the wildly successful director of a network. She has a spate of new shows, ready to go, and is unveiling them to the syndicated network executives when a deranged former star of one of her reality shows manages to derail all her plans. In fact, she is fired and has a nervous breakdown.

Her husband Walter (Broderick) decides to take her and the kids out of the city and into the country, a fresh new start. They end up in Stepford, a picture-perfect community out in Connecticut. Their new home is grand, beautiful, and decked out with the latest electronics, including a robot dog. And they are welcomed by (Glenn Close), a cheerful sort who seems unflappable and more than slightly odd. In fact, as they settle in, they notice that the whole place seems to harken back to the 1950s and the perfect TV commercials, where everything centers on the home and the wives are perfect homemakers.

The rest of the movie deals with Joanna and Walter trying to understand and attempt to fit in. But things are not as they seem, and any number of choices have to be made. All this is done in a wry, light, comedic tone that doesn’t push over the edge into gritty darkness. Even the appearance of Christopher Walken, always slightly menacing even when not deliberately so, doesn’t rock the tone of the movie.

All in all this movie was fun to watch, and it looks as though they had fun with it, mocking it relentlessly. Not too long and the pace is brisk, so I think this is a good way to spend some time with your sig other and find things to laugh about at the end.

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