As Bad as They Say?

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Credit the bitchy wit to screenwriter Paul Rudnick, the knowing tone to director Frank Oz and the cluttered ending to the focus groups. The snazzy cast — including Matthew Broderick, Bette Midler and, as the makeover masterminds who have "top-secret contracts with the Pentagon, Apple and Mattel," Glenn Close and Christopher Walken — really sinks its fangs into Rudnick's poisoned apple.

By the time you read this, The Stepford Wives may have been deemed a box-office failure. But that shouldn't matter to people who want a film full of smart laughs. Maybe big giggles can drown out bad buzz.

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