Three of the most powerful women in Hollywood (literally) are about to join forces. Oprah Winfrey, Sandra Bullock, and Meryl Streep were announced Friday as the leads of one of the most star-studded movie projects maybe ever.
The reigning female trinity of Tinseltown will star in a still-untitled film to be written and directed by Sex and the City writer/director/producer Michael Patrick King. According to Deadline, the movie will be "set in the world of a Home Shopping-type network, where characters make their way through the maze of mania that surrounds marketing, marriages and the media." Given the caliber of the talent involved, what's good, what's bad, and what's puzzling about the project's announcement?
Streep and Bullock's constant ribbing and repartee as they went through last year's Oscar season was the highlight of a long, drawn-out affair. From "the kiss" to the praise they showered on each other's work, it's about time the two stopped the flirting and made the partnership official, professionally.
We've also seen Streep successfully tackle comedy on numerous occasions, but last year's It's Complicated saw Streep embody a sexual freedom that was both surprising and uproarious. Pairing that energy with King's Sex and the City button-pushing writing could be brilliant.
And for all the retrospective on Winfrey's daytime career, as her talk show winds down its final season, it's worth remembering that she is an Oscar-nominated actress (The Color Purple). Her award-worthy acting skills extend well to utter silliness (see: 30 Rock). This could be the perfect new project for O as she embarks on a new stage in her career.
For all the celebration of women, female independence, and modern views on sexuality that came out of the Sex and the City franchise, ultimately it portrayed an arguably sad, vapid lifestyle for women—not because of the sex, but because of the self-centeredness of its characters. In Deadline's report of the project, Michael Patrick says, "the idea of writing parts that three strong women will play is such a challenge." Part of that challenge is evident in his Sex and the City work, which, though progressive, wasn't the most nuanced, realistic, or flattering portrayal of women.
Can you imagine Winfrey whining about her Jimmy Choos while Bullock scowls at her husband for being too affectionate and Streep is forced to utter dialogue written by the man behind the line, "He's the Lawrence of my labia?"
The set-up for how this all came to be, as Deadline reports it, is quite baffling: "I came up with the idea of writing for Meryl, Sandy and Oprah," King says. And that's it. It happened.
Not only that, but he has yet to write a single word of the script. For actresses who are so choosy about their projects—Streep's four most recent roles won Golden Globe nods, Winfrey hasn't starred in a film in 12 years, and Bullock's picky-ness after last year's Oscar win has been very publicized—it's almost unfathomable that they would attach to a film without seeing a single line of dialogue. (Again..."Lawrence of my labia.")
Not to mention Winfrey is on the cusp of launching her own network. Streep has just committed to playing Margaret Thatcher and starring opposite Julia Roberts in the August: Osage County movie adaptation. In addition to caring for a toddler, Bullock is already signed on to a Tom Hanks film and possibly the coveted Cuaron-helmed Gravity. When, exactly, are these ladies going to find time to film this?
What will be really puzzling is if this movie manages to go into production with its three major stars intact.