This 2002 documentary by Rosanna Arquette explores, through conversations with actresses, how women cope with the pressures they face balancing the demands of job and family as they age while working in an industry that values youth and beauty. Arquette asks these good questions of a bevy of female actors - Jane Fonda, Sharon Stone, Salma Hayek, Patricia Arquette, Whoopi Goldberg, Meg Ryan, Melanie Griffith, Holly Hunter, Diane Lane, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vanessa Redgrave, Frances McDormand, Teri Garr, Robin Wright Penn, and many many more. Also appearing is Debra Winger, who quit the business to have a family over a decade ago.
It's an interesting premise, and at times the movie works quite well; some of these women are quite articulate, and all have thought about what they are doing and why. It's nice to see these actors identifying with Arquette's struggle, and as the women talk it becomes clear that each has found her own way through the dilemma of balancing the competing demands of personal and professional life, some with more success than others. Arquette is engaging in her quest, if totally uncritical of her peers - several of them are pronounced her favourite actress, all are lauded for their great work - and I enjoyed seeing these women ruminating on their lives. However, without a true redeeming feature - artistic excellence, profundity, insight - this film ends up to be just okay.