IN THE LAND OF WOMEN
Playing Dear Abby
Release Date: April 20, 2007
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 97 minutes
Distributor: Warner Independent Pictures
Director: Jonathan Kasdan
Executive Producer: Lawrence Kasdan
Producer: Steve Golin and David J Kanter
Writer: Jonathan Kasdan
Address Comments To:Mark Gill, President
Warner Independent Pictures
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
(A Time Warner company)
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
Carter’s grandmother is a barely living example of the power of negative thinking. She loves to go over what to do when she dies. Carter meets Sarah (played by Meg Ryan) walking her dog. He walks along and learns her husband in cheating on her, her teenage daughter seems permanently upset at her, her role as a housewife is grossly unfulfilling, and she has come down with breast cancer. He later meets the two daughters. The youngest, Paige (Makenzie Vega), asks him to marry her, while the teenager, Lucy (Kristen Stewart), spills out to him the frustrations of her love life.
Reeling from his own love-life failure, Carter winds up focused on the problems of women ranging from elementary school to the death bed. Both mother and teenage daughter tell Carter about the father’s adulterous relationship, each thinking the other does not know and must not be told.
IN THE LAND OF WOMEN is very well done as a slice of life in modern America but it offers little in the way of resolving anything. Carter may have helped repair a damaged mother/daughter relationship. He does help Lucy decide who should be her boyfriend (for now). He is also helpful to his elderly grandmother. The movie's characters, however, are all about trying to feel good, not trying to do good. At one point Sarah tells how there have been a couple of moments in her life when she felt like she was “exactly in the right place, doing the right thing.” She describes it like some kind of high she would like to experience more often, but the responsibilities of day-to-day life prevent such fulfilling moments.
Without trying, the movie shows the emptiness and frustration of life without God. Christians go through all manner of trials in life but they can look to God for answers, and more importantly they can experience the sense that they are in exactly the right place doing the right thing simply by seeking God’s forgiveness, submitting to His guidance and doing His will. When in the will of God, Christians often find themselves helping others. Personal problems tend to seem less burdensome when helping other people who have even larger problems.
MOVIEGUIDE® recommends extreme caution to those interested in seeing IN THE LAND OF WOMEN. While it is well made, and even entertaining, the lead character is a porn scriptwriter, everyone but the youngest daughter loves to use the “s” word, and the movie's hedonistic worldview completely ignores the existence of God.
IN THE LAND OF WOMEN is very well produced as a slice of life in modern America, but it offers little in the way of resolving anything. Carter may have helped repair a damaged relationship. He does help a teenager decide who should be her boyfriend (for now). He is also helpful to his elderly grandmother. The movie's characters, however, are all about trying to feel good, not trying to do good. Without trying, the movie shows the emptiness and frustration of life without God. It also contains some foul language and sexual references. Despite its entertaining qualities, therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® recommends extreme caution.