24-Hour-Woman, The (1999): Savoca’s Feminist Tale, Starring Rosie Perez

Sundance Film Fest 1999 (World Premiere)–Though timely, dealing with modern women’s problems in balancing marriage, career, and motherhood, The 24-Hour Woman is a disappointing film from the otherwise gifted Nancy Savoca.

Going for utmost realism, Savoca has written a credible dialogue for her lead protagonist, Grace (Rosie Perez), but the serio-comic tone doesn’t work well.

Perez, overacting, makes her character Grace more hysterical and less appealing than she might have been on paper; it’s a shrill performance showing the ever- restless dynamo Perez talking at the top of her lungs.

In secondary roles, Marianne Jean-Baptise as Madeline and a too theatrical Patti LuPone as Joan bring much needed color to the otherwise monotonous proceedings.

As always with Savoca’s films, this one is co-written by her and husband Richard Guay, and women dominate the work both in front and behind the camera.

Mediocre execution makes the film unintentionally irritating, and I doubt whether women viewers would like it, despite the honorable goal to capture vividly the lives of many modern women who, as bred winners, need to navigate careers with satisfying family lives.

Credits

Shooting Gallery Presentation of a Redeemable Features/Exile Films Production in association with Dirt Road Productions

Running time: 1 hour 35 min

Director: Nancy Savoca
Producer: Richard Guay, Larry Meistrich, Peter Newman
Exec producers: Steve Carlis, Donald C Carter, Daniel J Victor
Screenplay: Nancy Savoca & Richard Guay
Cinematography: Teresa Medina
Editor: Camilla Toniolo
Costumes: Kathlene Mobley
Music supervisors: Barry Cole and Christopher Covert
Prod designer: Bob Shaw

Cast

Rosie Perez (Grace)
Marianne Jean-Baptise (Madeline)
Patti LuPone (Joan)
Karen Duffy (Margo)
Diego Serrano (Eddie)
Wally Dunn (Ray)