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Review of Mona Lisa Smile

Posted by kris on 2004-01-16 02:47:40
Being dragged in tooth and nail, I went to watch Mona Lisa Smile. This movie stars Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, and Julia Stiles.

Roberts plays a middle aged (gasp, unmarried) art professor of an all girls university. It takes place after World War Two, where the role of women has drastically changed. This is due to the men leaving for war and the women taking care of the homefront.

Roberts' goal in the movie was to make the girls see that there is more to life than getting married and settling down for the domestic lifestyles that were once the only place for women. She comes across teachers and students (Dunst) that disagree with her ways, while also making somewhat of an impact on other girls' lives (Stiles). The problem in this movie is that there are so many characters and so little time that the audience hardly has the time to grasp their stories and become completly sympathetic with them. Even if there was some connection, the movie ends quite abruptly from its climax (if you can call it that) leaving the viewer wondering if hey even really had time to suspend their disbelief. I personally wish that they would have gone into greater detail in what choices were made to overcome difficulties or deal with certain situations. The whole movie just seemed really rushed.

There is not much else to the story than that. Basically, this is a "Girl Power" type of movie that tries to liberate the female mind from the misconceptions of the private and public spheres in post war America. You might want to wait until this comes out in the stores.