Almost forty years ago, a young girl of 14 has sex, gets pregnant, and gives her baby up for adoption. Fast-forwarding to the present day, we meet three very different women, each of whom struggles to maintain control of their lives. There's Elizabeth (Naomi Watts), a smart and successful lawyer who uses her body to her advantage. Any time she feels that she doesn't have the upper hand, and cannot control the situation, she uses her sex appeal—whether that be starting a romance with her boss (Samuel L. Jackson) when she suspects he is trying to start one himself, or finding some way to control her overly friendly neighbor and husband (Carla Gallo and Marc Blucas).
Karen (Annette Bening), meanwhile, is a bitter health care professional who obviously has a lot of heart but never shows it. She gave up a daughter at the age of 14 (wonderfully shown rather than told, she is the young girl and mother of Elizabeth), and has never gotten over it—her bitterness inspiring her to lash out at everyone around her—even the gentle man at work who is undeniably drawn to her (Jimmy Smits).
Finally, Lucy (Kerry Washington) is a woman who has failed to conceive with her husband, so she turns to adoption to make the family she desires.
If you are interupted three quarters of the way through this movie you'll likely not be inspired to return to it which would be unfortunate. I found this movie did reach many levels of emotion including sorrow, anger and hatred.It is very difficult to sit through a movie when you don't like any of the characters but by the end you can celebrate the transition to a re-birth of normalcy (whatever that may be) of the main characters. My philosophy on cinema is if it inspires emotion it inspires thought and if it inspires thought it's worth the time to watch it. I'm not sure entertaining would be an accurate way to describe this one but I recomend it for an evening alone with nothing to do
Went in expecting a sour-depressing downer of a film, left feeling slightly uplifted. With it's bitter slew of broken women slowly vindicated and redeemed as the film, it showed a rare glimpse of how negativity begets negativity that came still be overcome with the right chance meetings and slips of character. Plus for the first time I actually found my self actively disliking a Naomi Watts character... Now THAT'S acting!
A diamond in the rough
I cried and felt the intensity of the change in personality of the Annette Benning character. It is a wonderful movie along the lines of Babel or Crash.