Women in Trouble -- Film Review

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AUSTIN -- Scribe Sebastian Gutierrez puts on his Almodovar hat for "Women in Trouble," a tongue-in-cheek ensemble picture seemingly tailored for cable, where copious cleavage and tube-familiar faces will be assets and flashes of wit can't hurt. Carla Gugino heads the group as a porn star hit by unexpected pregnancy, but other characters -- including a ditz prone to auto mishaps and a claustrophobe stuck in an elevator ("Friday Night Lights" stars Adrianne Palicki and Connie Britton, respectively) -- keep the level of comic angst high.

Production values are deliberately garish, suiting a plot full of tease and titillation. Sister-act prostitution, lesbian bars and a mile-high rock 'n' roll encounter figure heavily, though -- like a cast that can't keep their blouses on but never remove their bras -- nothing very racy happens onscreen.

Men get a couple of moments, with Josh Brolin as a British rocker and Joseph Gordon-Levitt hamming up a post-credits coda. But this film is as fundamentally gyno-centric as its title suggests. Gutierrez's script can't supply female characters as believable as Almodovar's, but in the director's chair he gives his cast room to compensate with funny, self-aware performances.

Production company: Gato Negro Films
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