The Stepford Wives (2004)2004
The Stepford Wives (2004) Complete costume worn by Faith Hill in her role as 'Sarah Sunderson'. Faith Hill can be clearly seen wearing the costume during the 'Simply Stepford Day Spa' scenes. Comprises of a floral dress, a headscarf, a pair of high heel shoes, two bras and a cherry pendent necklace.
The Stepford Wives (2004)2004
Clue number two was the fact that, unlike the original movie, The Stepford Wives 2004 was billed as an out and out comedy. The general consensus in the mainstream press seems to be that, back in the seventies, when men were afraid of the power which feminism was bringing to women, the idea that a group of men might create a suburban community in which to brainwash their liberated wives and turn them into submissive, cooking-and-cleaning robots was a terrifying premise for a thriller. But not now! Now, in these days of equality and enlightenment, when men are completely comfortable with powerful, successful women, the storyline is too absurd to be played for anything more than cheap laughs.
In the newer version of the Stepford Wives (2004), it shows some of the "turned" wives doing humanly impossible things like placing a hand on a burning stove, spinning at high velocity, or despensing money like an ATM.
And it is. Those Stepford wives are not real women at all. Instead, they are robots, just like the animated robots that families see at Disneyland. Except these robots are made to be touched and played with. In The Stepford Wives, women are literally objects; not people. The three versions of The Stepford Wives, the book, the 1975 movie, and the 2004 movie, all share a general plotline, but the 2004 movie took a completely different approach to the story. Instead of being a movie about the sexist tendencies of many men, the 2004 movie was more a mockery of high-powered women. This mockery is apparent not only in the characters, but also in the changes in the story line.
Another character who provides a wonderful example of mockery in the 2004 movie is Claire Wellington, the wife of the president of the Men's Association. Claire is the welcome-woman to Stepford, and also runs many social functions for the women. She seems to be the leader of the pack of Stepford wives, and teaches their "workout" sessions, in which they do motions of household chores, such as "be a washing machine!" At the end of the movie, the audience learns that Claire was once a highly successful brain surgeon and genetic engineer, and had top-secret contracts with the Pentagon, as well as with other companies. Then, one day, she came home to find her husband, Mike, with her young, blonde assistant. She killed them both, then set out to make a "perfect" place, using her skills to make a robotic copy of her husband. All she wanted was "...a world where men were men and women were cherished and loved. A world of romance and beauty, of tuxedos and chiffon; a perfect world," (The Stepford Wives 2004). Claire Wellington is clearly another woman with a lot of power but a very twisted mind.
The Stepford Wives (2004 film) is recorded in English and originally aired in United States. Each episode of The Stepford Wives (2004 film) is 93 minutes long. The Stepford Wives (2004 film) is distributed by Paramount Pictures.
The 2004 version provides examples of: Actor Allusion: Walter references "The Wind Beneath My Wings". The song was a huge hit for Bette Midler, who plays Bobbi, in 1989.
Adaptational Alternate Ending: Walter only pretended to betray Joanna, all so they could take down the conspiracy together. And since the wives were simply mind controlled instead of, their success bring them back to normal.
Adaptational Heroism: Unlike his previous incarnation, Walter loved his wife through and through and put a stop to the Stepford husband's scheme.
Adaptational Ugliness: In comparison to the original film, Joanna is dressed down considerably and presented as less attractive. Bobbie too (but that was true to the original book). This is so that their robotic counterparts are Beautiful All Along.
Alas, Poor Yorick: After Mike's head gets ripped off and he's revealed to be a Stepford Husband, Claire (his wife and creator and the actual Big Bad) takes his head and gives out a Motive Rant before giving him a Last Kiss, which ends up fatally electrocuting her.
Armor-Piercing Question: Joanna: Let me ask you something. These machines. These Stepford Wives. Can they say "I love you"? Walter: Mike? Mike: Of course. In 58 languages. Joanna: But do they mean it?
And I Must Scream: Unlike the novel and original movie, the wives here have computer chips implanted in their brain, enabling their husbands to control them with a remote. Imagine being trapped inside your body and watching it be made to go wherever someone else wants, and do whatever that person chooses, all the time with no way to fight back.
Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Walter and Joanna prove to be in love after all.
Camp Gay: Roger Bannister, who has a very flamboyant and effeminate personality compared to his husband. When his partner has him undergo the "program," Roger is much more Straight Gay but reverts back at the end.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Joanna's hair and clothes are visibly lighter at the end of the film than at the beginning, indicating that even without conforming to the Stepford ways, she is genuinely trying to soften her personality.
Corrupt Corporate Executive: Joanna. In the beginning, her pet project at the network she works at is a reality TV show similar to Temptation Island. At a press conference, while hyping up her show, she is confronted and shot at by a man whose marriage was ruined by the show, and who shot his cheating wife and her lovers in rage. Afterwards, Joanna is already planning out the reunion show to exploit the carnage she has accidentally inflicted, only to not only be fired from the network, but also blacklisted from television due to her utterly irresponsible decisions in programming.
Death by Adaptation: Mike Wellington, Stepford president Dale Coba's remake counterpart.
Delayed Reaction: It takes a few moments for Joanna to realize she's been fired in response to the destructive debacle she had inadvertently caused.
Denser and Wackier: This remake is more like a romantic comedy instead of the horror and satire of the original.
Everyone Has Standards: Walter and Joanna both are horrified and disgusted when they realize that all the wives are being brainwashed. In defiance of the original version, Walter says he likes that Joanna is her own person.
Everyone Loves Blondes: Both Joanna and Bobbie's Stepford Wife selves are blonde (and therefore more attractive).
Evil All Along: Claire is implied early on to be one of the first wives who was turned into an android by her husband. Turns out she was the one who killed and replaced her husband and is, in fact, the Big Bad of the film.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: This is the undoing of the baddies. They never consider the idea that Walter would prefer a wife who challenges him and is her own person over a robot who only caters to his every whim.
Evil Reactionary: Claire, who created Stepford to restore a time when "men where men and women were cherished."
Female Misogynist: Claire is the true Big Bad, blaming feminism for ruining men.
Gay Conservative: The Straight Gay in the gay couple. His partner later becomes one as well.
Heroic BSoD: Joanna nearly has one after realizing Bobbie has fallen victim to the Stepford husbands.
Good All Along: Turns out Walter only goes along with the other husbands' conspiracy in order to help Joanna bring them down from the inside.
Heroes' Frontier Step: Walter spends the story being pushed around in a troubled marriage. In the end, he proves he's a true man by refusing to brainwash Joanna and helps her rescue the other wives.
Immoral Reality Show: Joanna made several of them during her time as a network executive.
The Man Behind the Man: The viewer is led to believe that Mike is behind the operation, but really he's just a Stepford Husband created by his "wife" Claire, the real Big Bad of Stepford.
Lighter and Softer: Than the original movie and book, both of which had a Downer Ending.
Married to the Job: Joanna at the start of the film. Part of the reason for the move to Stepford is so she can spend more time with the children.
Not His Sled: The 2004 remake had its own shocking surprise ending, where it's revealed that the wives weren't actually replaced by robots, directly contradicting several scenes.
Phlebotinum Breakdown: One of the Wives malfunctions while attending a square dance.
Plot Hole: The movie quite clearly indicates the wives are robots (see the ATM wife). Then at the end, they are not. This was due to test audiences disliking the Downer Ending, leading to Executive Meddling and a hastily shot revised ending. It helps that the overall tone of the movie is closer to a Romantic Comedy than the horror/satire of the original. The original ending does feel somewhat out of place with the more comedic tone this one takes.
Relationship-Salvaging Disaster: It's revealed that the Stepford plot accidentally fixed Walter and Joanna's marriage. While Walter was threatening to divorce Joanna, he became fearful of her safety and disgusted that the townsfolk wanted him to brainwash her. They then conspire to stage a fight and take down the organization from the inside out.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Hank, the disgruntled reality show contestant, at the very beginning, after one of Joanna's shows destroys his marriage.
Robot Dog: Joanna discovers that Bobbi and her family have one after their "robotization". He's VERY heavily implied to have once been their actual dog.
Scream Discretion Shot: After being fired from her executive job, Joanna shows a facade that she takes it in stride, even bidding everyone a cheerful farewell. Once she's in the elevator, however, she lets out a mighty Skyward Scream.
Spared by the Adaptation: Joanna, Bobbie, and...really all of the original Stepford Wives for that matter, given that in this version the husbands just installed easily reversible mind control chips into their brains instead of murdering and replacing them with robot look alikes.
Stepford Smiler: In addition to the obvious, Walter is also one of these, until he cracks.
Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Thanks to the setting update, this happens. It turns out that no, you can't convince every man to brainwash or replace their wife because not every husband is an Entitled Bastard even if they're having marital problems, especially when divorce is an option. Walter becomes a Fake Defector so that he and Joanna can save all of the wives because while they could escape and expose the scheme, it would leave all the women as brainwashed hostages, and besides which they have no proof. What's more, the publicity revives Joanna's career.
A contest that ends up in two of the contestants divorcing and the husband going crazy and shooting his wife, her lovers, and trying to kill the executive producer is only going to end up Overshadowed by Controversy and heads are going to roll. Joanna probably also didn't did herself any favors by trying to pitch a "reunion" special with all of the injured parties.
Take That!: "So I wondered, where in the world would nobody notice a town full of mindless, lifeless robots? And then I thought, of course! Connecticut!"
The original's Disney reference is updated with additional digs at Microsoft, NASA, and America Online ("Is that why the women are so slow?"). Most of Disney's pioneering work with animatronics was done in the '60s and '70s, making the reference somewhat dated by 2004.
A Taste of Their Own Medicine: In the very last scene, the Wives, now free of the effects of the microchips, have inverted their situation by placing their husbands under house arrest. Laser-Guided Karma of the highest order.
The Unfair Sex: Pretty much every single show Joanna made was designed to make men worthless and promote women as the superior. This led to the events that caused her to be booted from the industry.
Too Dumb to Live: After spending half the film paranoid about the Men's Association and seeing what happened to Charmaine after a "weekend getaway" with her husband, Bobbie happily goes off on a surprise vacation with Dave.
Utopia Justifies the Means: What appears to be the villain's main motive for turning the women into robots.
What Happened to the Mouse?: At one point in the movie Joanna and Walter's two children disappear, and are never seen or heard from again. During the Larry King Live interview, they are clearly seen sitting in the background behind Walter, alive and well.
With or Without YouJoanna Eberhart: It's... It's not our world. It's not us. And I'm picking up our kids from camp right now, and we're getting out of here. With or without you.