I was very pleased with how this movie turned out (except the whole Bill situation could have been taken out. it didn't really match her ideals really..). When I saw previews for it, I knew at once I wanted to see it but was afraid Hollywood would ruin it. On the contrary, I was very moved.
I was really impressed how they addressed what is expected from all women, but also how all women are DIFFERENT. On one hand, there is Katherine Watson who believes women should not simply get married and have children, that there is "more to life" than motherhood. On the other hand, there is the university and most of its faculty and students who believe the opposite. And then there are the very few (or maybe one) in between who believe in possibilities... Though the character Katherine Watson has a noble agenda to change the rigid motherly ideals of the school, she has simply fled to the opposite extreme with rigid academic ideals.
Though this movie takes place in the 1950's, these themes are NOT irrelevent. Take it from a college girl herself (and many of my friends) - many of these expectations and pressures still exist in different forms. Replace Katherine with your high school, your peers, and your parents, and replace the Wellesley of the 1950s with your grandmothers, your aunts, your friends and you have MY life with a seemingly opposite but very similar struggle.
Therefore, I give this movie 5 stars. It realistically depicts the struggle that can still be seen in many women's lives today, but does not provide a cop-out answer for the masses. Like the analogy in the film of the paint-by-number sets, women are not cookie cutter shapes!
All the actresses in this movie did a wonderful job. Julia Stiles, Julia Roberts, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and more.. I was easily able to relate to these characters, and their development is exceptionally interesting. This film holds much significance to those of us women who have lived it out in one way or another.