I should have listened to New York Times film critic Stephen Holden, who called “In the Land of Women” meek and mopey, “the film equivalent of a sensitive emo band with one foot in alternative rock and the other in the squishy pop mainstream.” The film stars Meg Ryan in a relatively new role–down and out mom-figure rather than romantic lead–and Adam Brody (formerly of “The O.C.”) as the all-purpose confidante for quite literally every woman in the film: ex-girlfriend, grandmother, and next door neighbors (Ryan as the mother and her daughter).
Despite the reviews, I figured–how bad could a movie be that stars Meg Ryan and Olympia Dukakis (who I love)? As it turns out, really bad. It’s the worst movie I’ve seen in years. And I see a lot of movies.
Adam Brody–playing Carter Webb–is utterly unappealing in what I guess is the romantic lead–though there is nothing romantic about him or the part he plays. Nor is there anything comedic about Carter’s character. Why so many beautiful, talented women are drawn to baring their souls to him is inexplicable. He doesn’t do anything in the film aside from stumbling in and out of these women’s lives. It’s painfully clear is that Adam Brody can not carry a film. And since Brody is the epicenter of this “land of women,” the movie falls on this fatal flaw.
Then there is the fact that though the movie is billed as a romantic comedy, it is an incredibly depressing film. The dominant themes are despair, death, cancer, and infidelity. I know–what fun on a warm spring afternoon!
I confess: I never watched “The O.C.,” so perhaps I didn’t enter the theater with the right sympathetic-to-Brody attitude like the rest of the “O.C.” fans who made up the bulk of the audience around me. But even they shared my dismay. As the credits rolled and I got up to leave, one of the girls behind me quipped loudly and in appropriately high school melodramatic fashion: “That. Was the worst. Movie. Ever.“
Yes, I silently agreed. Enough said. Brody gets a failing grade as confessor. I actually left the theater feeling angry. Save your money. There’s nothing redeemable about this one.