Woman of the Year Screen 8 articles

Woman of the Year

1942

Woman of the Year Poster
  • ...The film starts out with a much more balanced treatment of Tess and her romantic sparring partner, the down-to-earth sportswriter played by Spencer Tracy, before pushing her into unwomanly caricature. Lardner, who won an Oscar for his screenplay, was not responsible for the film’s notorious ending, an excruciatingly unfunny sequence in which Tess, trying to win her husband back by proving she can be a conventional wife, creates slapstick chaos when she attempts to cook breakfast.

  • This was not at all what I expected, and I’m afraid I just didn’t much enjoy it… I feel like I’m SUPPOSED to enjoy it; I know that it’s a “classic,” and obviously KH/ST have all the fabulous zesty crackly brainy interactions we expect, but there was just too much stuff I would have to overlook. This is for the obvious thematic (anti-feminist) reasons, but they manifested themselves in ways I wasn’t anticipating.

  • ...Everything you're saying about the offensiveness is entirely correct, but none of that registered for me as strongly as just what a logy, dry, and leaden picture this is from stem to (almost) stern. George Stevens at his best is, as we all know from reading our copies of The American Cinema, an auteur, but _damn_, when I see a Stevens film that doesn't click for me I tend to ask myself, where the hell _is_ George Stevens at his best, because _this_ sure as hell is pretty far from it.

  • Harping on the politics of a 1942 romantic comedy is a dubious game... But the film plays particularly poorly in 2017, and not only because its central narrative thrust involves the question of how to handle refugees, the relevance or lack thereof of the traditional blue-collar American male, and the place of feminism within American life. The film's conservative agenda also shortchanges Tracy and Hepburn's chemistry.

  • I Strive Not To Judge Old Movies By Contemporary Mores But Sometimes It's Just So Damn Yeesh, Vol. XLII. In her Criterion essay, Stephanie Zacharek makes a heroic effort to pin the film's entire problem on its reshot final scene, which is admittedly peak noxious. But I can't agree that Tess' humiliating, ludicrous struggle to make her husband breakfast (guffaw, she knows 26 languages but can't figure out a toaster!) represents a betrayal of all that precedes it.

  • Well, it's got one great character; pity that a great romantic comedy requires two. Hepburn radiates such wit and energy that she runs circles around Tracy, who spends most of the time glowering. The issues at play remain important—this is the same battle to "have it all" that, say, Tina Fey would be fighting 60 years later. But look at the studio-mandated ending, and celebrate that the terms of warfare have changed.

  • To the Siren, this will always be one-half of a great movie... The chemistry with Tracy would give Antoine Lavoisier a heart attack. But the ending--oh my stars and garters, that ending, in which Hepburn is humiliated because sure, she can wear the hell out of a chic suit and write circles around any man in sight, but what that does matter if she burns his breakfast--that ending is so hideous, so cringe-inducing that the Siren can't watch it.

  • It bears marks of conflict—chiefly, a reconstituted ending that neither the film’s writers nor, it seems, its actors were happy with. But then, movies, like the human beings who make them, are imperfect. If the secret to happiness is finding joy in the corners, there’s plenty to be found in Woman of the Year, particularly in the way Tracy and Hepburn negotiate its language. It’s as if, even in these early days of their relationship, they pared the necessities of happiness down to the essentials.

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