In the Land of Women
is the cinematic equivalent of salt peter. You could take a
handful of boner pills and watch every Candy Botttoms movie
you can get your hands on before walking in, and this piece
of shit will shrink your dick, man or woman, faster than getting
it slammed in a freezer door. I mean, the only reason I can
think of for this movie to exist is to wilt dicks.
I should have known it would be a monumental
turd when Mrs. Filthy wouldn't come with me. That is a woman
who stayed up and once watched 72 straight hours of the Lifetime
Channel. Maybe that was because she had promised to give me
a little loving when she came to bed, but more likely it's because
she has an unquenchable thirst for victimized women overemoting.
In the Land of Women are three main women:
Meg Ryan, Kristen Stewart and Adam Brody. Brody, actually, is
transgendered, looking like a man, but in his pants he has Skittles
where his dick is supposed to be. The mother and daughter both
hope to taste the rainbow. That is, to dig into the sweetness
that has supplanted his sexuality. Brody is a 25-year-old Southern
California writer who we never actually see at work. After the
women of his dreams dumps his nasally, dreary ass he mopes around
thinking that a lack of energy means great acting. On the spur
of the moment he decides to go live with his dying and estranged
grandmother in Michigan (yeah, right--that's what 26-year-olds
do). She didn't invite him, of course; in fact, the movie never
even makes note of that. It just drops him there. He just decides
he's going to impose on her because he's a self-absorbed asshole.
Just like everyone else in the movie.
It's smart for director-screenwriter Jonathan
Kasdan to not let us see Brody's writing. After all, you can't
write a character who writes better than you are, and if we
had to not only hear Kasdan's horseshit but also read it, it'd
be like getting fucked up the ass with both ends of a rake.
Once in Michigan, Brody moves into his grandmother's
(Olympia Dukakis) vaguely cruddy house. Dukakis has a worthless
role as the granny. She's supposed to be another one of those
foul-mouthed, occasionally crazy and occasionally brilliant
types, but Kasdan must have realized that was too much of a
clichÈ even for this crap-o-rama. So, instead, she's just nuts,
a pig, foul-mouthed and completely unlovable. I have no idea
what Kasdan wanted us to think of her, but she's an annoying
Across the street from Brody, of course, is
one of those families that is supposed to look perfect on the
outside, but is all fucked on the inside. Like a Twinkie stuffed
with dogshit. Those taste really, really bad. Take it from me,
think twice if the harelip ever offers you a Hostess snack cake
the day after you key her Geo Metro. Meg Ryan is the perfect
suburban mom who is hiding all sorts of sorrow. I'll just list
the ways in which she is movie-of-the-week victimized: breast
cancer, a cheating husband, control freak and thought of as
shallow and superficial when she really believes she's deep
and profound. Here's the problem, I didn't see or hear a God
damn thing that convinced me she wasn't pretty damn fake and
superficial. Every one of her "sparkling" conversations just
sounded like some soccer mom at the Starbucks who talks too
loud because wants everyone to hear how deep she is. Kristen
Stewart is Ryan's horse-faced daughter, a teenager who apparently
has her own problems, but I couldn't find a dan one to give
a shit about. Big fucking deal: the football quarterback dumps
her. Waa waa waa. She's as self-absorbed as her mother.
Stewart and Ryan open up way too much and way
too fast to Brody. Both try to make the same point: "I'm sooo
misunderstood." Far as I can tell, though, if the world has
pegged them as a yuppie mother and spoiled daughter, they've
hit it right on the head. They both kiss him, which really makes
no fucking sense in Ryan's case when you're supposed to sympathize
with her for having a cheating husband.
Ryan gets to do some Oscar-baiting by grabbing
at her lumpy boob, crying a bunch and getting laid up in a hostpal
bed with her hair all shaved off. It's about thirty shades too
much bathos for even a Hallmark Movie of the Week. And then,
with a hell of a lot of yammering that signifies nothing, the
movie wraps up. Brody's granny, whom he never connects with,
dies, he writes a sappy note to Ryan and leaves.
I thought for a few moments about the detritus
of the granny's life. Her house is cluttered with stuff amassed
over a lifetime of sitting on her ass. What a nightmare for
the children to pick through all the shit someone was too lazy
to throw out. Then they feel guilty because they don't understand
the meaning of the 200 egg cartons and the three coffee cans
filled with loose buttons. I'm lucky, my parents are leaving
almost nothing. They've had to sell most of their things to
stay alive, and the rest they leave in the apartments and mobile
homes when they get evicted. Me, I just hope that the Mrs. sells
my porn collection to a teen boy who can use it the same way
I did; every night until crying himself to sleep.
Back in California and still a hack with a laptop,
Brody tells a waitress that his grandmother was "pretty wonderful."
And that bullshit pretty much sums up In the Land of Women.
It's just a series of pointless scenes anchored by undeserved
emotion and people saying shit they don't mean. She wasn't wonderful;
I don't think they were even trying to portray her as such.
So what's Kasdan's point: that Brody is some kind of liar, that
he is he just a nostalgic dumbass, or that you should turn the
pastr into whatever is convenient for you at present, and learn
no real lessons?
Okay, my limp dick's had enough and I didn't
even get to the comically precocious little girl, how the cheating
husband drives a convertible Porsche, or how the teen daughter
ends up with the quarterback's best friend, who has been pining
on the sidelines all along. One Finger for In the
Land of Women. And it's stiffer than Kasdan's prick.