In the Land of Women - In the Land of a Better Writer Director...
| In In the Land of Women, characters walk up to each other and start having confessional conversations, spilling the secrets of their boring little lives to people they have hardly any relationships with. I guess the film makers think this is “deep” or something. In reality, it’s just feels stupid.
Adam Brody plays Carter, a young man who desperately wants to be a writer but gets stuck in his own malaise about being young, beautiful and well off in L.A. So he goes to visit his supposedly dying grandmother in an incredibly beautiful upscale suburb of Chicago where he romances both the ridiculously hot MILF (Meg Ryan looking amazing) across the street and her daughter (played by the charmingly sexy Kristen Stewart)… both of whom are miserable in their rich, suburban boring lives. Boo hoo.
Maybe I could have become invested in the characters’ angst if the writer didn’t shove it down our throats all the time. Maybe if he took some time to make them feel real and make their relationships with Carter seem more real. Maybe… but he didn’t. He rushes it and forces it and it all just comes off as false.
Sure Adam Brody is cute as a button but he’s got just one shtick and he doesn’t have the chops to pull this off. He’s trying so hard to be a supermodel Zack Braff but it doesn’t come off. He’s just an Abercrombie and Finch model and spends most of In the Land of Women posing as if he’s on their shoot. His comic timing is off and he has no ability to create the necessary gravitas for the emotional bits.
And then there is the wasted Olympia Dukakis who plays his senile grandmother. She’s there solely for comic relief and this is another part of In the Land of Women that falls flat. There is never once a time when you believe that Carter cares for his grandmother, that he cares about writing, or that he is even present for his life.
In the Land of Women is an attempt at something much better. Maybe young director Jon Kasden, son of the talented Lawrence, is trying to make movies like his dad used to make. In the Land of Women isn’t a great indication that film making is genetic. The film does look really good... and I don’t mean all the beautiful people running around. He knows how to manufacture with music, images and swooping cameras, the kinds of emotions he is trying to make us feel, but he hasn’t got the writing down to actually get us feeling it. He should re-watch his father’s underrated Grand Canyon and take some notes.