Alright Fangirls, I lived a rather sheltered life. I grew up in a home where I wasn’t allowed much TV time, and definitely not a lot of time watching movies intended for teenagers and adults. The (new version of) The Stepford Wives came out in 2004, back when I wouldn’t have been allowed to watch it. I remember seeing ads for it, but that was it. Since it’s not brand new, I will talk about the ending a bit today, so if you haven’t seen it, be warned.
The Stepford Wives is a movie about perfection. A career driven woman gets fired for making shows that cause divorce and death, and she goes a bit mad. She gets to the point of having electroconvulsive therapy. It’s incredibly clear that her career was everything. So she, her husband, and their two kids move from Manhattan to the suburbs of Connecticut; Stepford.
Stepford is a beautiful, gated community. The houses are huge and gorgeous, the women are quiet and submissive, and the men are kind of lame. But everything is perfect. All of the ladies dress and act like its the fifties; they obey their husbands, do housework, and get excited for making Christmas decorations (not that I can talk, I’ve already got 3 Christmas presents done). But for outsiders like Joanna and her new friends Rodger and Bobbi, it’s incredibly clear that something is wrong. When Rodger gets a new look and attitude, Bobbi and Joanna start looking into things.
Before too long, the same thing happens to Bobbi. She’s transformed from a messy, wild writer to a perfect little housewife. Her hair goes from red and crazy to blonde and perfectly coiffed, her house gets cleaned very quickly, and she treats the men in her life like she’s their slave. It’s ridiculous. Soon after, Joanna is told of the horrors that the men of Stepford put their wives through. She finds out that all of the women were high profile (CEOs and the like), and then the men put microchips in their brains, to be able to control them with. It’s vile, and she’s next.
She and her husband go down to the room where the deed is done, and when they come out, she’s perfect. Long blonde hair, a great attitude, and enthusiasm for the mundane. It’s wild. But at a party, thrown (it seems) in their honor, something happens. Joanna’s husband goes back down to the lab, and starts shorting out the women; shutting off the microchips on their brains. And they’re pissed. Mike, the leader of the men, picks up a candlestick to attack Joanna’s husband, and she knocks his head off! He was a robot too; created by Claire. Claire ends up being the mastermind behind this entire community, and at this point I couldn’t stop laughing.
Through the entire movie, I was mad. I was talking to my mum about how it wasn’t right that these ladies were doing this; that they were forced into robotic submission. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re a high profile person, you shouldn’t be treated this way, or changed for someone else’s pleasure. But the ending killed me. I loved that it was a woman who masterminded this, and that the men were next to be converted.
The Stepford Wives is hilarious, and I highly recommend it. There is some language and sex, so it’s not for younger viewers, but it’s a wonderful sci-fi that reminds us that even though the fashion of the fifties was wonderful, the treatment of women was not, while showing us some silly robotics stuff.
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