The Movie Waffler New Release Review - <i>The M Word</i> | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - The M Word

An actress comes up with a hit show to save the television studio she loves.

Directed by: Henry Jaglom
Starring: Tanna Frederick, Michael Imperioli, Frances Fisher, Corey Feldman, Mary Crosby

There are pros and cons to watching films without knowing anything but the title.  Not knowing who is in a film or what it’s even about can go either way depending on your preference in films. But one major problem I have had with Hollywood in recent years, besides its reboot/sequel/adapting ways, is how each year the biggest films show far too much in their trailers.  For a lot of movies, it seems like they show all the best action shots, the funniest lines, and so much of the story that there are so few surprises that you feel you realize you saw the entire thing months earlier in the trailer. 
When I pressed play on The M Word I knew nothing about it, I didn’t even know what the M word was until a bit into the film.  For those who don’t know, it's menopause.  I realize that doesn’t sound very appealing to most, but I was surprised how the film ended up unfolding before me.  It begins with Moxie (Frederick), an actress at a television studio, filming her mother and two aunts ranting about what it is like for them to go through life as a woman.  As the film continues, we get to know Moxie and the other people that work at the studio as Charlie (Imperioli), a network executive, goes around the studio trying to find out who stole a lot of money while figuring out who is expendable to the studio's growth.  The problem here begins as soon as Charlie meets Moxie because the instant spark between the two of them ignites a series of events that changes the studio and everyone who is a part of it. 
I know, menopause doesn’t sound like a great topic for a film, but the filmmakers do a surprisingly good job at making characters that are memorable and feel real on multiple levels.  The movie looks and sounds as fine as you would expect, but the best thing about the film are the actors who really bring out the raw emotion of the characters.  A few times throughout the film, I caught myself seeing a character acting like someone in my family and instantly my mind linked them, making them feel more real. 
I’ll admit, in the beginning, I was a little bored by all the hormone, period and menopause talk, but once you get to know the characters relating with them, the story was easier to go with.  I know a lot, especially males, won’t be able to look past the fact that they don’t want to hear about all this stuff, but rest assured, if you stick it out, the characters will grow on you.  And at the tail end of the film, they throw in a bit about the male side of getting older.  I think I would have liked the film even more if the male side was explored more, because a balance of the struggle between the sexes would lend the film to a wider audience.

Andy Comer