Women vs. Men (TV Movie 2002) Poster

(2002 TV Movie)

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Is this REALLY how couples today interact??
NC-writer15 August 2003
The first few scenes of this movie had some pretty funny moments, and then everything deteriorated to head games, psychobabble, and emotional drivel. By the end of the movie I had a nagging fear that this movie might be an indication of how couples in today's society actually do communicate with each other--in which case, the world's in serious trouble! It's a very talky movie, with just a handful of scenes involving physical interaction--most of the action is just background for the dialogue, rather like a play--but that isn't always a bad thing. The creators of "thirtysomething" were at the helm of this movie, so I was looking forward to the stimulating, thought-provoking dialogue that was one of the hallmarks of that show. I was sorely disappointed, though. The women in this movie are shrill, game-playing, emotional cripples, and the men are all clueless mental midgets. Just when you feel like you're starting to understand a character, he/she will do something completely unbelievable or irrational, and it so undermines the validity of the movie that by the time it was over I was sooooo ready for it to end and I had no sympathy or affection whatsoever for any of the characters. Most of the verbal interactions are ill-conceived and outrageously stupid. Joe Mantegna has one terrific, articulate, intensely profound soliloquy near the end of the movie that intensely reminded me of "thirtysomething"--but immediately after that wonderful speech he lapses into nonsense again. What a tremendous disappointment this movie was, particularly in light of the great credentials of its creators and the high caliber of the acting talent involved. No wonder it never made it to theaters.
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Perfectly awful.
=G=5 August 2002
"Women vs Men" is an uninspired regurgitation of all the same old trite and tired battle of the sexes stuff with a few new buzz words pounded into the pathetically flat script to give it a contempo edge. With a svelte Lahti and a bearded Metegna as the lead couple in the war, you'd expect this tv fare to be a shoe-in. Instead it plays out like one long and incredibly boring drone of endless banter. Simply awful. PU! Yuck! (D)
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Agree with George - it's awful
trpdean2 August 2003
Coarse low-lifes throw accusations at their spouses' despicable behavior for a few hours - and then engage in the awful predictable ending.

The shame is that such fine actors are used for this unfunny trash - which feels as if it were produced by Jerry Springer - I am a fan of Christine Lahti (who looks fantastic), Glenn Headley, Paul Reiser, Jenifer Coolidge (who sadly doesn't), and Joe Mantegna - it's really sad when excellent actors have to play so dumb and low.

If this were even as funny as an episode of Married With Children, I wouldn't mind as much - but it's not as inventive.

Skip it. It's really bad.
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A fun and funny flick about relationships and real people.
NoeValleyJeff30 November 2003
If you don't like relationship films, I won't get you started. Skip this and live a happier life.

But, if you like movies about real people, this one's a winner. (Don't be confused by it's designation as a "comedy" -- you'll laugh, but it's not "funny, ha-ha." It's a humorous drama, a la "Diner" or "to Gillian on her 39th Birthday" -- if you didn't like those movies, you won't like this one.)

The acting, writing, and direction work together to put you in the middle of a really bad day in the marriage of Michael (Mantegna) & Dana (Lahti). They've hit that point in a relationship where everything's great, but nothing's right anymore. They're about ready to break up because they can't figure out how to talk about their problems with each other... perhaps because neither is sure what those problems are.

Unlike most movies where people are having trouble talking to each other, these folks really try. Dana talks to Brita (Headly) and Mike talks to Bruce (Resier). Even without the flashbacks, you can really feel that these people have been living in each other's lives for decades. Dana & Mike want to break their vicious cycle, but keep falling into their old patterns. They get angry, say (or do) the wrong thing (realizing how wrong it is) and back themselves into a corner.

Throughout, they try to keep a sense of humor about it all. Mike & Bruce make each other laugh, as do Dana & Brita...and we're laughing with them.

They're all smart and thoughtful and yet have trouble keeping their eye on the prize, maybe because they've forgotten that it takes work to make a relationship work, even (especially?) after 20 years.

For a movie that takes place in just a single day and in so few sets, it's surprisingly open and light. Palminteri's direction is fantastic. He makes a scene where the boys head to a strip club seem intimate and quiet while a scene where a single male strips for the two girls seem raucous and rowdy.

Palminteri gets the best performance I've seen out of Mantegna and the most intimate out of Reiser, so perhaps Palminteri remembers something about acting (even if he can't, in my opinion, act his way out of a paper bag). The women are equally amazing (Lahti and Headly showing they're more than just solid TV-series actors).

Despite the trauma that these folks go through, you'll enjoy spending 90 minutes watching them watch their lives fall apart. And watching them pick up the pieces because they're still crazy (in love) after all these years.

I rated this 9/10.
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Ignore George, Like Movie
millburn200110 August 2002
Okay, whoever the George was that trashed this movie is an idiot. It is a good movie, and Glenne Headly is amazing. Anyone should see it. It was well directed and has quality acting, unlike the trashy porn films George usually views. People, spread the love; watch the film.
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Brilliantly written and performed
dJohnActor22 July 2003
Never having heard of this film before, I saw the DVD at the video store and rented it on the strength of the cast, particularly, Reiser and Mantegna. I was amazed by the intelligence in the writing for these characters and their wives, Headly and Lahti, respectively. The pacing of the dialog and the chemistry of the characters flows like a Neil Simon play, a West Wing episode, or Mad About You. The two couples find themselves facing self-revelation after twenty years of marriage. It is a rite of passage that lies somewhere between middle-age crisis and incontinence (as Reiser's character, Bruce, discovers when he finds there are no books written for this crossroads in life). The honesty is hilarious. Pastorelli's character, Nick, is poignantly funny with his harmless, yet blatantly effective seduction prowess. I'm glad this was a two day rental, because I had to see it again. This would make a great stage play.
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A bit over the top, but a great fun film
jsblakemore6 June 2010
I'm a bit thrown by the fact that the one person who truly hated this film (George) is the main review that shows up when you come to IMDb. The general consensus is that this wasn't a bad film and, in fact, it was the opposite. As a person who doesn't typically flock with the masses, I still have to admit they are right and George could not possibly be more wrong.

The movie played out like a stage production; it was dialogue driven and mostly played in a couple interior sets between the four main characters and two major supporting cast members. If you are adverse to dialogue driven movies or need a movie where one side is clearly superior to the other, this is not the film for you. The writer has an even hand and incisive dialogue evenly distributed to both the male and female side of the subject of this film- marriage. Through a series of well crafted discussions, film dissects the subject, studies it, picks at all of it's corners and (gasp) actually encourages self-examination. I challenge any married person not to see at least one fault from these characters in him- or herself. Do some of the situations and conversations come out as over-the-top? Sure. Are the characters, at times, TOO eloquent? I suppose that could be argued (one could also argue that they are not, however, given the fact that they all are highly educated and it's not hidden in the exposition). Is the movie banter-driven at times? Yep. It is often reliant on banter. None of this makes it any less fun and thought-provoking to someone who might enjoy laughing at the navel examination that relationships can become. There is a lot of- as someone put it- "psycho-babble", but it makes SENSE given the fact that one of the main characters IS A RELATIONSHIP THERAPIST and another character is her husband of over twenty years and the film's premise is a moment that may end all of the relationships involved. If there was no "psycho-babble", it would be unrealistic. Any marred person who has ever worked in any form of therapy or management has resorted to methods you use at work in heavy arguments at home. It just happens. These methods become part of you, tools you can count on. It would be ludicrous to expect otherwise and is equally ludicrous to criticize the movie on that basis. My wife and I truly enjoyed this movie, despite moments that came out as way over the top (there are some scoffable moments involving Nick for example). It was warm and funny and- for once- written for literate adults who enjoy theatre as much as they enjoy film. Ignore the criticism if you need these qualities once in a while. You'll be glad you did.
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Title should have been Real Women vs Real Men
lvshema11 January 2007
The age-old enigmatic subtleties of woman/man relationships, which are the origins of the conflicts hilariously and passionately depicted,requires a non-self-centered viewpoint who has actually had conscious experience that there may actually BE viewpoints other than his/her own and actually cares about their coincidence or divergence. George very obviously has no such viewpoint; therefore his total non-comprehension of what is going on in this excellent movie. His mean-spirited revue is quite revealing about his own character.(Take note, ladies.)I am certain that he was trashing "Taming Of The Shrew", back when he was reviewing The Bard, with equal nastiness. He revealed himself by his mystification as to why the great cast would do such "trash" (cracked me up!). Their spot-on characterizations could not have been done so freely had they not all "been there" --- a place where George has never been. If you dig what I mean, watch the movie. REAL Women and REAL Men love it!
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Enjoy this relationship prospective movie
kaz_pooh3 October 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This is about relationships that have gone the distance but become stagnant. Communications have broken down and the couple has gone their separate way while still together. Christine Lahti character has left temporarily and then discovers her longtime spouse and his best friend at a strip club. Shocked, she runs to tell her best friend whose husband (Reiser) was at the club at well. This begins a comedic at times and sensitive at times volley between the sexs about relationships, limits and needs and communication. The men try hard to convince the women it is innocent fun (strip clubs) and give reasons why they "need" to go...the men know they are in a tight spot and the women do not fall for their excuses. Instead the women turn the tables and turn them on their heads. Later on, they begin to discuss the ins and out of relationships, what each others needs are and bring out why and wherefore about why men act the way they do and why women act the way they do. It is a good movie about relationships in my opinion. Not funny laughing the whole movie comedy but a realistic view of marriage when two people love each other but start to forget over the years to be there for each other and talk about the relationship and what each other needs to stay happy and understood.
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