Nicole Kidman, Glenn Close, Matthew Broderick, Bette Midler, Christopher
Walken and Jon Lovitz
Directed by: Frank Oz
Speaking? Stepford Wives is a superb soufflé
of smiles and a succulent serving of summer-style suburban spoof.
goes... superwoman, Joann Eberhart (Nicole Kidman) runs a shock-schlock
savvy super-network. When one of her reality shows ruins a participant's
life, reality points aim at her - literally.
network sees her as a liability now and she must be let go, canned,
(<-visual prompt: mentally insert an image
of a smarmy Donald Trump hairdo'd sort here for effect) she's
She promptly falls to pieces, complete with the necessity for
husband decides the whole family needs to relocate out of New
York City - start fresh. He finds a perfect respite from the wilds
of television in a private development/town called Stepford, Connecticut.
immediately after the doilies are set, Joanna notices the wives
of Stepford are all a tad (read: to the tenth power of odd) different.
They seem to have all walked out of some mock National Geographic
documentary on the prehistoric middle-American housewife circa
1950 as shown to Martian visitors somewhere deep in a New Mexican
desert hanger. They are all Barbie-esque mini-waisted bimbos,
donned head to toe in form fitting chiffon accented with coordinated
high heels and bouffant hair. And as if their generic images were
not spooky enough, she notices they all simply can't seem to do
enough for their less-than-study male folk, taking "yes dear"
to a completely new level.
her mousy husband Walter (Matthew Broderick) fits right in. He
frolics at Stepford private men's club and indulges in all the
does find a bit of normalcy amid the robots of repressed emotions
in the form of kindred cynical New Yorker souls. Her allies are
a whirlwind wordsmith Ms. Bobbie Markowitz (Bette Midler) and
the flamboyant man-lovin' Roger Bannister (Roger Bart). They too
have been dragged, err, relocated to this creepy little haven
of horrors by their significant udders and agree the suburban
strudel is a few walnuts short of being a rich dessert
Joanna's tiny gaggle of gawking anti-homemaking cohorts, Bobbie
and Roger, suddenly end up dressed in Republican tweeds and enjoy
the art of vacuuming picture frames - like the other ever-clean
sparkling soul-sucked residents they once ridiculed over swell
martinis at brunch - she decides to confront the whole nefarious
brood of uber nerdy men walled up in their "Ralph Lauren
meets Clue" -style club house once and for all.
Stepford's stoo-pid. Never pick at the tale's finely woven
threads or the whole silly ensemble will fluffle to the floor.
But the film, rather movie, is played as spoof from frame one
and the worldly cast is a genuine hoot. Though, I am really perplexed
as to who approved the on-screen wrong em boyo coupling of the
stealthy ever-stunning Nicole Kidman with the slothy stocky (short),
our viewing party watched - without catching
- for the apple crates they just had to have used to "level"
the two out. Hehehehehe.
Glenn Close shows as Stepford's quintessential Queen Bee,Claire
Wellington. Mrs. Wellington oozes that inner-anger and wildly
psychotic demeanor Glenn got the U.S. Patent on back in her "bunny
boiling" days - the scene that went down in cinematic infamy.
Christopher Walken, Mr. Mike Wellington, "Walken's"
up the screen and sports a firm Heat Meiser updo - his work in
Envy is funnier.
divine Bette Middler's acid-reflux spewed comments are, as always,
a devilish delight. Nicole Kidman runs the show. A real movie
star that can twinkle her little nose and orchestrate a whole
sonnet. Roger Bart is very funny he does good gay guy...but be
warned it's the token, stereotype of a gay out of water - the
whole 'Queer Eye' style of the breed.
Frank Oz has created a loving parody of the original, genuinely
frightening, film of the same name. He proposes the question:
Where else but in Connecticut could a mad scientist create robot
wives whose only mission in life is to pleasure their spoiled
nerdy husbands? Hilarious. The production design orchestrated
by Jackson Degovia and his talented art crew nailed the film otherworldly
within our world feel. Enjoy.
recommendation: The Stepford Breakfast Special: Two Paxils
over easy and fresh squeezed Viagra juice