Frank Oz's new take on the 1975 film The Stepford Wives will be released this coming Friday. I caught a pre-release screening this evening. Oz takes a campy approach, but camp has to be a little more over-the-top than this to really work well. I'd give this movie two stars on a scale of zero to four. Most people over 40, and probably even quite a few younger than that (this was done as a TV movie in the interim), will be familiar with the basic Stepford Wives plot. Heck, it's so familiar that "Stepford Wife" has become a widely-used synonym for a docile, sex kitteny, Martha Stewartesque wife. Oz plays against the audiences expectations to put a spin on the plot. He also adds gay elements, reality TV shows, and a few other things that were probably absent, or at least not terribly prominent, in the 1975 version. The movie opens with some really wild stuff, including a guy who shoots somebody as a result of his experience on a TV show. Oh, wait, that really happenned. Glen Close gives a fine performance as the main Stepford Wife. Nicole Kidman plays the next potential victim of the evil Stepford plot. Matthew Broderick plays her basically decent-but-misguided husband. Bette Midler pretty much plays herself as a brassy broad and the one women who has managed, for a lengthy period of time, to resist the Stepford treatment. Christopher Walken gives a somewhat stiff, almost mechanical performance, which is not totally inappropriate to his role (he's in charge of all those robot-like wives, after all!).