The Stepford Wives

The original didn’t require CGI to make the audience believe that these women were indeed robots.

I have been swindled. Mark my words, the trailer trap will not snag me again. Nevermore will those sniveling studio tyrants seize hold of $6 and change from my pocketbook. It seems the formula to financial success in the movie biz has become twofold. As a matter of fact, I now know this to be true.

Last week, as I was traversing the countryside, a wee man sporting a shirt with the initials ‘NMRR’ grunted “No more remake rubbish.”

Paramount Studios’ directorial guidelines, as of Sept. 1, 2003, said in fine type at the top of the page: “A) Remake something of cult classic stature and be sure to intravenously inject the picture with loads of shock, quick cuts and sophomoric quips” in so many words, slick it up with mass appeal and eliminate all clever witticisms that might intellectually engage the audience. B) VERY IMPORTANT! Remember, the film itself need not be well done. Instead, focus your efforts on making a memorable trailer. If spoilage of key plot points and majority of humorous scenes is necessary to achieving such an effect, then so be it. All that we demand of you is that you attend opening weekend, for the film’s monetary successes in subsequent weeks and weekends is only dressing as far as we’re concerned.”

Go figure. Such an ideology perfectly sums up “The Stepford Wives.” A highly enrapturing trailer coupled with a ho-hum production. To be earnest, “The Stepford Wives” is one of those films that kept me from fleeing for precisely two reasons and two reasons alone. One, the prospect of a “twist ending” grasped me by the gobbler. Having seen the insidious closure of the original, I kept thinking to myself, “Where will they go different?” I must say, I was not disappointed. Secondly, upon hearing of the casting of Bette Midler as a tye-dyed slob novelist and Christopher Walken as Mike Wellington, Stepford’s top citizen and president of the illustrious Men’s Association, I was enamored in glee. Truth be told, their performances and the twist that rears its head the last 20 minutes or so were the only redeeming qualities of the picture.

The original film didn’t require CGI to make the audience believe that these women were indeed robots. Nor did the original film require metalloid dogs or automated refrigerators to amuse the viewer. Certainly, the mood and pacing of the first film were impeccable.

Furthermore, the initial “Stepford Wives” was really saying something with an unshakable black stare (literally and figuratively).

Simply put, the original film is a bona fide masterpiece. The remake is nothing more than feel-good blather.

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