The Stepford Wives (2004)

The Stepford Wives is a chauvinistic horror parody so zany and off-beat you will think you stepped into the 1950s. Featuring laugh out loud comedy on a cute scale I think there are few other movies which match its off-beat reminiscent. Concerning the maintenance of perfection, as represented by its constant platitude, I continuously was left in disbelief as to what I was watching.

The story begins when Joanne, a high powered television executive, is unjustly fired from her position after a disgruntled participant on one of her show shoots several people. After the same shooter makes an attempt on her life, during a live television special, and the decision is made to fire her, she and her husband move to the gated community of Stepford Connecticut.

It is here they meet a host of nerdy men and neat woman seemingly drawn from the pages of a conservative’s conception of the past: the woman are nice and always smiling while the men are hard-hitting and commanding. To top things off the community has no violence, no homeless, and has wonderfully groomed lawns. Taken with the stellar neighbors it seems that all is too good to be true.

Of course it all is too good to be true. For it is not long after moving in that Joanne suspects Stepford has a dirty secret. While it tears at her relationship with her husband, who has grown close to the mysterious Stepford Men’s Club, she shows her determination and before long uncovers the horrible truth of Stepford: that the town is a proving ground for the mayor’s technology of perfecting the human form and ridding woman, and eventually men, of all imperfections.

It sounds weird and believe me, it is. This is a comedy which pokes fun at conventions. The acting is purposely overly dramatic, the setting intentionally cartoonish, and the dialogue hammed to the degree. To me it seems the director was going for a satire feel and won it ably. The ending of the movie has to be seen to be believed but suffice to say it has to do with robots.

In conclusion I found very little wrong with the film. Granted one has to be up for something different and willing to try digesting a wacky attack on values from yesteryear. While I felt at times a few of the scenes were too absurd or prolonged, and the soundtrack was nothing special, neither of these detracted significantly from the experience.  So if you are interested in possibly having your mind played with consider this ridiculous ride, it just might be one of your better decisions.

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