DVD Review: ‘I Could Never Be Your Woman’

I was curious to see this movie not because of its subject matter, but because of the arduous journey this movie took from production to bypassing theaters and going straight to DVD.  A movie with a $25 million budget, directed by Amy Heckerling (Clueless) and starring Michelle Pfeiffer–Michelle Pfeiffer–went straight to DVD.  (You can read about its sordid history here.)  It’s a shame that I Could Never Be Your Woman got lumped into the same category as Anaconda 3: Offspring

What’s it about?  Rosie (Michelle Pfeiffer) is 40 and the producer/writer of You Go Girl, a 90210-esque dramedy on a struggling network like the CW.  Rosie picks up the latest slang from her precocious 12 year-old daughter Izzie (Saoirse Ronan, Atonement) and incorporates it into the show.  All the actors are 30-plussers playing teens, the network executives (led by Fred Willard) are constantly breathing down Rosie’s neck, and cancellation is a heartbeat away.  

Enter Adam (Paul Rudd), a 29 year-old actor auditioning for guest role on You Go Girl.  He nails the audition.  Rosie takes a liking to him–and vice versa–and not before too long they’re an item.  But in the back of her mind, Rosie keeps wondering if the relationship will work out.  Will the age difference drive them apart?  Is he just using her to further his acting career?  Can he really be trusted?

If I were cold and calloused, I would say that I Could Never Be Your Woman could have been retitled Welcome to Courgartown, but in the film’s defense, it was shot before the term “cougar” became part of the mainstream vernacular.  So instead I’ll just say that the film is wish fulfillment for women over 40.

What’s good about it?  Writer-director Heckerling has an acerbic wit and has crafted, at times, some crackling dialogue, amplified by a great cast, particularly Rudd.  (I recently watched a little-seen film that I really, really did not care for, except for the all-too brief cameo by him that salvaged the few minutes he was onscreen.)  Meditations on aging, growing up and staying young are at the forefront, and searing observations on the absurdity of Hollywood are very clever.

What’s bad about it?  There’s a quite a bit of frank sexual content–this is a hard PG-13.  Izzie sings some songs to the tunes of “Oops I Did It Again” and “Ironic” that are supposed to be these vicious diatribes on no-talent celebrities.  Instead, they come across as inauthentic (no 12 year-old is witty enough to write songs of that witty) and dated (even though the movie itself is dated–it was shot in 2005).

Perfect for: Fans of Something’s Gotta’ Give.

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