THE STEPFORD WIVES
As crummy movies go, Frank Oz's remake of The Stepford Wives is pretty darned terrific. The film has been plagued by rumors of trouble on the set and post-production nightmares and general confusion throughout, and you can practically see these turmoils on the screen; the movie is bizarrely assembled and terribly edited - characters' motivations change from scene to scene with little rhyme or reason - and it all falls apart before your eyes. Oz doesn't seem to have a clue how to treat the material, but one person does: screenwriter Paul Rudnick. He knows exactly what he's up to - a bitchy, campy tale involving a group of nerdy men who enact revenge on the successful women they feel inferior to - and individual scenes in this Stepford Wives are so hilarious and dead-on smart that you wind up enjoying the movie despite being aware of how awful much of it is. Like last summer's Rudnick-written Marci X, it's a perfect example of a comedy in which individual set pieces far exceed the whole, and it can be blissfully enjoyed on its own underwhelming terms.