The Stepford Wives—Paramount
Beautiful production, costume design, and cinematography are the standouts in The Stepford Wives, a comedic remake of the 1970s version that's only sparingly comedic. Nicole Kidman stars as Joanna, a stressed-out former TV executive who, along with her husband Walter (Matthew Broderick), moves to the seemingly idyllic Stepford, Connecticut, to chill out and get away from it all. She soon observes that the women are a little too perky, perfect, obliging, and smiley for her comfort and is determined to find out why. The sets are striking, full of colonial, pillared homes that are all immaculately kept and color-coordinated, as are the ladies' outfits, designed by legend Ann Roth. The bright, flowing dresses that adorn the wives are visions of whites, pastels, and florals that perfectly match the ladies' porcelain-skinned complexions and sunny dispositions. The men are also a sight, all pink shirts and lime shorts. Together, they're like Garanimals, which works.
Not much else does, though. The director's commentary track, making-of, deleted and extended scenes, gag reel, and other tidbits are ho-hum. The 1.85:1 anamorphic picture and Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack are run-of-the-mill. The estimable talents of Glenn Close, Bette Midler, Christopher Walken, Kidman, and Broderick are wasted in this bland outing. With big stars and great talent behind the scenes, it's a high-powered Hollywood studio film that needs a jolt of electricity and energy, which I kept waiting for but never came. It's not bad; it's just 87 minutes of blah.