Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

06 February 2008

The Stepford Wives, dir. Bryan Forbes (1975)

NIKKI says:
This one of those movies I've always been meaning to see. I don't exactly know why I've never gotten around to it. Possibly because I was waiting to read the book, yet never found a copy of the book anywhere to just randomly pick up. Steve mentioned an interest in seeing this one recently, so I decided to just go for it, book or no book.

What an amazing film. This is the exact reason I love this project. Because these little classics are just waiting for us. And there's so many we've overlooked, even with the amount of films we've both seen in our lives. This one hit every note perfectly: its comedy, its satire, its drama, and, you might say, its horror. The writing was stellar (thanks, of course, to William Goldman), as was the acting. We were captivated right from the start. We had characters we cared about, and the creepiest of situations that just kept us fascinated by what was coming next.

Katharine Ross was so good. Her slow realisation that something is wrong in Stepford is thrilling to watch. How can she not look mental when screaming: "When you come back, there will be a woman with my name and my face, she'll cook and clean like crazy, but she won't take pictures and she won't be me!" But her resistance to the townsfolk and their way of life and her dedication to discovering the truth of the Men's Club is so brilliant. Goldman (probably from the book) gives her some great humour, too, so she really does seem like a progressive woman before her time even as a New York artist prior to her move to Crazy Town.

I'm shocked this film didn't win more awards. I've just learned it didn't receive Oscar nominations or anything. That's mental. Underrated and underappreciated, for sure. I'll definitely go back and read the book when I find it. Levin is so great when it comes to cultural and societal satire. This is just all-around great.


STEVE says:
In the opening scene of The Stepford Wives, Joanne Eberhart and her family are moving out of their Manhattan apartment. Scuttling the children into a waiting taxi, Joanne sees someone crossing the street, carrying a naked female mannequin. She steps out and snaps some pictures of the spectacle, only to be berated by her husband for forgetting to pack something.

This is why William Goldman is a great screenwriter.

Once they've moved into their cozy Stepford home, Joanne's husband asks "Have you ever made it in front of a fireplace?" Joanne's flippant response is, "Not with you."

This is why William Goldman is the greatest screenwriter ever.

After her husband joins the local men's club, Joanne meets some of the other prominent Stepford husbands, among them, Dale "Dis" Coba. He's watching her make coffee for the other husbands, and she catches him staring at her. "I like watching women do menial tasks." Joanne doesn't take kindly to this. She asks him why they call him Dis. "I used to work at Disneyland." Joanne doesn't buy this. "You don't seem like the kind of person who's interested in making people happy." Later, after all the Stepford madness starts happening, Joanne is talking to a therapist, telling her what's been happening to all the women in Stepford, how they're turning into automatons, robots, "like one of those robots in Disneyland".

And this is why William Goldman is a God among men.


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