Mona Lisa Smile

"Irritating" doesn't begin to describe Julia Roberts as Katherine, an art-history prof who arrives at Wellesley in 1953. She's in her prime and eager to teach Stepford girls to be fem-bots. Did she have access to the see-the-future machine that Ben Affleck invented in Paycheck? Smirky Katherine seems to know every step in the women's movement from the last fifty years.

The girls are played by a who's who of young Hollywood womanhood — Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal — each given one emotion to play and each forced to stare at Roberts in awe for showing them the way. That Mike Newell (Donnie Brasco, Four Weddings and a Funeral) directed this insulting swill is beyond depressing. Women of the Fifties, rise up in protest.

From The Archives Issue 370: May 27, 1982
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