Off the top of my head, I can think of several gifted interpreters of women on the verge—Nicole Holofcener (Lovely and Amazing), Tamara Jenkins (The Savages), or even Mr. Almodóvar himself—who could have planed away Luce's viciousness without losing her satirical edge. Understandably, English—who put in the hard labor to bring her baby to term—wanted to direct. But she's the wrong person for the job, and, willy-nilly, she has reduced one of the wittiest women's comedies ever made to just another ho-hum chick flick. Lord knows, this summer saw enough of those.

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