one Iíve been putting off writing for
weeks. Jesus, what a mess. I actually
had to get up and walk around between
that sentence and this one.
T AND THE WOMEN is the story of Dr. Sullivan
Travis (Gere), OB-GYN to the Junior League
and courtly protector of women. As the
title suggests, he deals with many women.
Thereís his daughter, Connie (Reid), a
Dealey Plaza tour guide and JFK assassination
theorist. Thereís his soon-to-be-wed daughter
Dee Dee (Hudson), a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader
alternate and one very special bridesmaid
(Tyler). Thereís his soon-to-be-divorced,
dipsomaniacal sister-in-law (Dern) and
her three young daughters. Thereís the
loyal head nurse (Long) who dreams of
the day when he will turn to her as a
man turns to a woman. Thereís a clamorous
waiting room filled with women, including
a hypochondriacal patient whoís married
to one of his hunting buddies (Turner).
And then thereís his wife (Fawcett), who
snaps her cap in the movieís opening minutes.
She and the golf pro with whom he has
an affair (Hunt) are the only undemanding
women in his life.
T AND THE WOMEN is a knife in the tanned,
defoliated back of Dallas womanhood. Now
personally, Iíve always thought this model
of womanhood deserves a bit of roughing
up, so Iím not grieved on account of how
badly such women come off in this movie.
(Many years ago, I read an article in,
I think, Ms. Magazine about a Dallas
socialite whose Valentineís Day present
to her big-bidness hubby was to shave
her pubic hair into the shape of a heart
and dye it pink. Sheís the archetype here;
she was probably one of Dr. Tís patients.)
grieved on account of how badly women
in general come off, because I donít get
any sense that writer Rapp particularly
meant to skewer a segment of society.
Scenes of clamoring women, and there are
several, bring to mind nothing so much
as the "Pick a little, talk a little,
cheep, cheep, cheep" number from
THE MUSIC MAN, where gossiping matrons
gathered on the corner are compared to
a flock of biddies. These society-page
women are portrayed as the very ones Joseph
Cotten talked about in SHADOW OF A DOUBTó"Ösilly
women, eating the money, drinking the
money, wearing the moneyÖ"óhis fingers
clenching reflexively . . . But thatís
a much. much better movie. I digress.
clear evidence that Rapp can write well.
COOKIEíS FORTUNE was a nice, offbeat story.
And there are some wonderfully true lines
in DR. T. At one point, Gere offers to
take care of Hunt so that sheíll never
have to work or worry again. "Why
would I want that?" she asks him,
gently puzzled. For me this was the crux
of Dr. Tís character: Women are driving
him out of his natural mind, but he canít
stop taking care of them and just care
the ensemble film is Altmanís signature,
here he gets lousy performances from almost
everyone involved (but the best Gere performance
Iíve seen in a while). Even Lyle Lovettís
original music comes up short. No one
affiliated with this production gets away
unscathed. Plus, thereís a stupid, out-of-left-field
meteorological occurrence (not as freakish
as MAGNOLIA, but not as believable either)
that just destroyed any goodwill I had
left for this movie.
pointless waste of everyoneís time and
money, though those who hanker to see
Farrah Fawcett naked may beg to differ.
Roxanne Bogucka an Action Grrl!