What happens when you combine a brilliant, all-female, all-star cast, headed by Meg Ryan and Annette Bening; celebrated comedy writer/director/producer Diane English (“Murphy Brown”); and a classic story about a circle of New York friends? The answer is THE WOMEN, a smart, sparkling comedy about contemporary womanhood and the power of female relationships. Based on George Cukor’s 1939 film and Clare Boothe Luce’s 1936 stage play, THE WOMEN whisks us into a busy pocket of Manhattan society, where the publishing, fashion and finance industries play.
At the center of the tale is Ryan’s character, Mary Haines, a thoroughly modern woman suddenly confronted with an age-old dilemma: a cheating husband. The ladies in her life swiftly rally to Mary’s side, led by her best friend, Sylvie Fowler, a dynamic magazine editor played by Bening. But when Sylvie betrays Mary in a Faustian bargain, the entire group is shaken to the core – and two women face the most painful breakup of all - their friendship.
Like its predecessors, THE WOMEN unfolds in an entirely female world; men are richly portrayed, but are never seen onscreen. Making her feature debut, English creates a multi-generational tapestry that encompasses post-feminist baby boomers, post-menopausal women and pre-teen girls. Fittingly, THE WOMEN boasts one of the most impressive rosters of female actors ever assembled in one film. Joining Ryan and Bening in the principal cast are Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett Smith, Candice Bergen, Bette Midler, Cloris Leachman, Carrie Fisher, and Debi Mazar. The supporting cast includes superb veterans Joanna Gleason and Lynn Whitfield as well as fresh young faces Tilly Scott Pedersen and India Ennenga.