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Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Retro Review: I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007)

I Could Never Be Your Woman
Cast: Michelle Pfieffer, Paul Rudd, Sarah Alexander, Stacey Dash, Jon Lovitz, Fred Willard, Tracey Ullman, Graham Norton
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $9.5 million

Plot: A mother falls for a younger man while her daughter falls in love for the first time. Mother Nature messes with their fates

'Despite Its Efforts, I Could Never Get Into This Rom-Com'

2007's I Could Never Be Your Woman was meant to be released in cinemas, but then was reneged and it got dumped on DVD instead. Whether or not it would have caught the audiences' attention back then, had it been released theatrically, we don't know, I wouldn't know. In hindsight, though despite its deficiencies, this comes across as being more intelligent and far less shallow than many of the so-called populist rom-coms that have generated millions at the box office. But I Could Never Be Your Woman has one particular drawback: its ideas it wants to convey doesn't seem to come through in such a way that it wants to say something to the audience. 

There is a cameo by Irish and UK based TV chat show host, Graham Norton as a fashion gay guy. & who would've thought that 12 years later Paul Rudd and Michelle Pfeiffer would later reunite and appear on Marvel Studios' Ant-Man & The Wasp? Tracey Ulman, however, is sadly wasted as Mother Nature and she also drags the film down, whilst Rudd seems okay, but like Pfieffer, they were working with a script that needed to go further but didn't.    

The main issue I had with this film is, as much as I applaud it by offering a different slant with regards to relationships and the older woman, who is also a TV producer & divorced mother, falling for a younger man, the story just didn't have enough to keep it going. It is also a jumbled mess when it comes to the ideas and issues it wanted to portray (celebrity culture, obsession with remaining youthful) through its theme of multi-generational relationships and the whole film seems to be scattered all over the place, it was difficult to keep track of what was going on. Nonetheless, I Could Never Be Your Woman deserves credit for not being atypical rom-com.

When I heard the White Town song, Your Woman, I could sense where the makers of the movie got the title of this film from. One scene I did like was when Pfieffer b***slapped Sarah Alexander's Jeannie, which had me glued to the screen for a couple of mins.

Pfieffer tries to sell herself in a romantic comedy, well and she is more than able to pull it off, even when the scripts and screenplays let her down, she appears assured and relaxed in her role and thus forth has the capabilities and range to make for a convincing love interest or romantic lead who is looking for love. 

The mother/daughter scenes between Rosie and the daughter, Izzie played by Saoirse Ronan prop up the movie, more so than the other aspects of it. Amy Heckerling, famed for the excellent Clueless, is at heart, an expressionist when it comes to her directorial style: mainstream audiences who are so used to the mainstream, commercial hits won't get much out of this film. She has a lot to say about women in modern society and the different variations and stereotypes that are banded around; unfortunately, but for Clueless, these ideas are either drowned out or demoted in favour of the script, which isn't well conceived, nor is it all that impressive. 

Final Verdict:

If it weren't for Michelle Pfieffer as the headliner of this act, I Could Never Be Your Woman would be weaker -, and that is a pity because I actually do think that it makes more of a bolder effort than Pfieffer's other rom-com effort, 1996's One Fine Day and thus, it has the better premise. It just needed more oomph in its subject matter to take the movie out of its comfort zone, and despite taking its cues from 1966's The Graduate, I Could Never Be... misses the mark to become a classic. Yet its disorganisation of ideas and film's actual structure undoes any potential I Could Never Be Your Woman could have easily realised. 

Because of this, it turns out to be a very uneven film. Pfieffer and Paul Rudd both deserved a better script. 


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