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Twenty-Four Hour Woman Reviews

Reviewed By: Michael Costello

Nancy Savoca's thoughtful comedy about the familiar dilemma of a woman attempting to balance commitments to family and career has some dead-on insights and funny moments, but disintegrates badly in its final scenes. Rosie Perez stars as the pregnant producer of a TV talk show who strives to reconcile the competing demands of job and family. Savoca's work, which has often touched on women's issues, takes a surprising turn, when the high-powered career woman gains a visceral understanding, like many before her, of just how much she wants to be with her newborn child. It doesn't help that she has a hard time getting decent child care, and that her unemployed husband isn't thrilled with filling that role. Her boss (Patty Lupone) represents the single-minded devotion to career she can no longer claim, while other women are struggling with the same problems. Savoca, who slyly sends up the fluffy talk show and the glib, you-can-do-it-all bromides it dispenses to women, has spent her career trying to shake audiences out of the delusions foisted on them by both society and pop culture. However, in taking on this subject, she comes late to territory that's been thoroughly explored and a reality that most women already understand all too well. The ending, which involves an unbelievable fight between Perez and her husband, followed by a reconciliation that seems to skirt all the issues than had been so painfully raised, is hugely disappointing. Nonetheless, Rosie Perez gives another totally committed performance, and she's surrounded by an excellent cast.