"In the land of women" stars the O.C.'s Adam Brody as Carter Webb, a struggling LA writer who's just been dumped by his girlfriend. Heartbroken and needing a change of scenery, he heads to the leafy suburbs of Michigan to take care of his ailing grandmother. He then befriends both the mother and daughter across the street and gets swept up in a strange triangle of emotions.
This film is okay, the epitome of your average chick flick that is a decent way to spend 90 minutes but that will never be considered classic material or a great film. Brody is the real star of the film of course, but Meg Ryan also delivers a fine performance as the neighbour suffering from breast cancer. A decent way to kill time.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Looking for Love in Seemingly Wrong PlacesOct. 31 2007
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The Kasdan Family has made a significant mark on the better films of Hollywood and Jon Kasdan (writer/director of IN THE LAND OF WOMEN) holds those values of fine cinema intact. Having appeared as an actor in some films of his father Lawrence Kasdan (Grand Canyon, The Big Chill, Body Heat, Mumford, Dreamcatcher, The Bodyguard, etc), he has not only inherited his father's credo of making meaningful statements about life as we are currently living it, he has absorbed the fluid character development of those films and added his own sensitive touch with graceful dialog. He is a talent to watch.
Soft porn writer Carter Webb (Adam Brody in a very fine performance) lives in Los Angeles near his depressed mother (JoBeth Williams) and has just been dumped by his actress girlfriend Sofia Buñuel (Elena Anaya). When his mother learns of her mother's failing state, the distraught Carter offers to travel to suburban Michigan to stay with his grandma Phyllis (Olympia Dukakis). Once in picturesque Michigan Carter deals with his lovable but eccentric grandma and meets the across the street neighbors - mother Sarah (Meg Ryan in fine form), daughters Lucy (Kristin Stewart) and the younger Paige (Makenzie Vega), and errant husband Nelson (Clark Gregg). In this setting of a 'woman world' Carter is key to aiding the various maladies of each of the women while addressing his own disappointing failed relationship. The manner in which he intervenes by simply being present and tender and caring makes a positive impact on not only those around him but also on his own life and talent as a meaningful writer.
In what could have been a soupy chick flick Jon Kasdan has instead provided a script that has a healthy dose of homespun philosophy and has guided his multi-talented cast to offer some of their finest moments on film. This is an entertaining movie, but it is also a balm for viewers who have experienced life-threatening illness, broken homes, coping with the elderly, and ultimately coping with death. It simply works. Grady Harp, October 07
50 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Great Movie - Dissapointing DVD releaseOct. 30 2007
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I whole-heartedly enjoyed "In The Land of Women" when I first saw it back in April during its brief run in cinemas. Needless to say, I have been so looking forward to the DVD release since then.
I just got my DVD today, and it is completely a bare bones disc, unless you count the trailers at the beginning of the disc. A good movie, but a poor DVD release.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A very sound teenage drama that I only wish had been more adult oriented...Feb. 18 2008
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`In the Land of Women' had great potential to be a dramatic and moving character study. Sadly it focuses too much on being appealing to the teenage crowd and so it loses a sense a maturity in parts. It is still a good movie; in fact my wife and I enjoyed it very much, I just feel that it could have, and should have been better. There are things placed within this film that you can tell are there to draw a particular crowd, but then there are moments that scream out with a subtle maturity that I only wish had been consistent throughout.
The film revolves around Carter Webb, a screenwriter for the adult entertainment industry. After his celebrity girlfriend Sophia breaks his heart he decides it would be a good idea for him to leave the L.A. life behind and find himself. So, when his mother informs him that his grandmother is paranoid she may die soon he takes that as his opportunity of escape and makes the trip out to Michigan to visit her. His grandmother Phyllis is apparently delusional, but she a riot and so it's a welcomed delusion. Carter soon meets the Hardwicke's who live across the street from Phyllis. He soon forms an attachment with the mother Sarah and the teenage daughter Lucy and throughout their time together they change each others lives drastically.
The Hardwicke family has a lot of demons trapped in the closet, especially Sarah and Lucy, and for some reason they feel a comfortableness with Carter that allows them to get things off their chest. There is truth in the idea that there lies a certain comfort with strangers and I think that plays a large role in understanding this film. Some have balked at the fact that Sarah and Lucy would not divulge huge family secrets to a complete stranger but I beg to differ. Sometimes we need sounding boards and it's much easier to sound off on someone not emotionally invested in your or your problems, someone that can't judge you because they don't know you. Sarah and Lucy have a lot they keep bottled up because there is no one for them to talk to about, but now they have Carter.
Adam Brody has been breaking out in a large way the past few years due to his stint on `The O.C.' and this is really his first leading role. He handles it well enough. There are certain aspects of his character I felt were forced in order to make him `cool' in the eyes of teenagers and I didn't particularly like that. Kristen Stewart's (can you believe this is the same little girl from `Panic Room'?) character Lucy is another one of those overly clichéd characters. Every stereotype in the book is thrown at her as far as how a rebellious teenage daughter would act. She handles the role decently enough; I just wish they would have given her more. Olympia Dukakis is hilarious as Phyllis and she has some of the most memorable lines. The real standout here though is Meg Ryan who tackles her `sick mom' character with real warmth and conviction. As Sarah you feel really connected to her. I have always love Meg Ryan and really wish she would be given more attention. She is a very capable actress who deserves more accolades for her impressive body of work.
In the end `In the Land of Women' works well. It fleshes out some nice character traits, especially when in regards Carter and Sarah whose relationship is the most interesting of all. I wish they had dropped the stereotypes though; left out the token party scene or the `teenage smoking' bit but it's not really enough to complain too much. There are such sweet moments (one I particularly enjoyed was when Carter sits down to write the children's book he told his grandmother he wrote for a living) that I began to really wish the script had been tweaked to reach an older audience. I guess that is my only complaint. This is a film targeted towards the young when if it had been adjusted to target the middle-aged crowd could have turned into a genuinely moving adult drama. Instead it remains a very well constructed teenage drama. Three and a half stars for a film that with a little more maturity could have easily been four and a half or even five.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Just How I Hoped it Would BeNov. 2 2007
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I really liked this movie. I found I could really relate to the characters. I have a friend who went through the same situation Meg Ryan did. The look on Adam Brody's face as the girl he loves is breaking up with him will make your heart hurt. His grandmother added another dimension, she made you laugh sometimes & made you sad at other times. The movie put you through emotional ups & downs but didn't leave you feeling all sad and depressed at the end, it gave you hope. I loved it. I think Adam Brody is going to be an Oscar winner someday--sooner than later.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
offbeat romantic comedy/dramaNov. 30 2008
Roland E. Zwick
- Published on Amazon.com
Jon Kasdan (son of filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan) makes a most auspicious directorial debut with "In the Land of Women," an utterly charming and winning indie comedy/drama marked by interesting characters, complex relationships and delightful performances by a first-rate cast.
When his fashion-model/actress girlfriend dumps him without warning, a "soft-erotica" writer by the name of Carter Webb leaves his home in L.A. to spend time with his eccentric grandmother in suburban Michigan. A 26-year old who hasn`t been able to grab a hold of anything meaningful in his life thus far, Carter finds his world becoming even more complicated when he makes the acquaintance of a mother and daughter who live across the street from where he`s staying.
The beauty of Kasdan's screenplay is that we never know where the story is going to take us at any given moment. Moreover, the characters interact with one another in ways that are both believable and surprising, and no one is made out to be either a hero or a villain, a sinner or a saint. Carter is coping with the pain of a failed romantic relationship, while the two women contend with marital difficulties, suburban angst, adolescent rebellion and a life-threatening illness. Yet, for all the potential sturm und drang of the material, "In the Land of Women" maintains a light-hearted, lyrical tone throughout, thanks to witty dialogue and a full-hearted appreciation for the subtle little ironies and eccentricities of life.
The performances could not be improved upon. Adam Brody makes Carter into a sympathetically vulnerable figure who, at the same time, can display a surprising amount of strength and intestinal fortitude when the situation calls for it. Makenzie Vega is sweet and charming as the literal girl-next-door who is quick to criticize her mother even though she doesn't know the woman quite as well as she thinks she does. But it is Meg Ryan as Sarah Hardwicke, the full-time housewife and mother, who truly excels in her role, turning a potentially two-dimensional character into a multi-faceted woman of surprising depth and emotion. With admirable restraint and understatement, Ryan conveys all the unspoken thoughts and feelings of a woman who is aware of the compromises she has made in life but who is far more wise and complex about the ways of the world than either her daughter or her philandering husband are willing to give her credit for. Finally, Olympia Dukakis seems to be having the time of her life playing an attention-seeking, doddering old woman who may not be quite as out of it as she wants others to believe she is.
As director, Kasdan takes full advantage of the bucolic Michigan setting (though it is remarkably lush and green for October), as Carter and Sarah take long, leisurely strolls around the neighborhood, getting to know one another and establishing a lasting relationship.
Like them, the movie is not afraid to take its time laying out its storyline and revealing the hearts of its characters. The result is an offbeat and deeply satisfying film that bodes well for the future career of its neophyte director.