When a Man Loves a Woman vs Wolf

It’s often said that the best year for films in the 90s was 1994. From Ace Ventura: Pet Detective to True Lies, there was something memorable about so many of them. People still lament that The Shawshank Redemption lost to Forrest Gump. 1994 was also the year of When a Man Loves a Woman and Wolf.In When a Man Loves a Woman Meg Ryan was absolutely devastating in her role as an alcoholic wife and mother. It’s the sort of part Michelle Pfeiffer had a monopoly on in the 90s, so kudos to Meg for out-Pfeiffering Pfeiffer for once.Wolf was released 25 years ago today. After The Witches Of Eastwick I couldn’t wait for the reunion of Michelle and Jack Nicholson. The juxtaposition of Pfeiffer’s haughty, hostile character here with sweet, innocent Sukie Ridgemont in Witches is a testimony to her talent, it’s also a little bit mind blowing. Although 7 years separated Wolf from The Witches of Eastwick Michelle really doesn’t look like the same person. La Pfeiffer gives the film a lot of glamour as the love interest, at the end, after her character has been bitten by a werewolf and her die is cast, she even throws yellow contacts over her famous baby blues.Just watching Wolf again for this post with an emphasis on Pfeiffer as Laura Alden, I was struck by the soulful feel of depth and intelligence in Michelle’s allure.There’s something in Pfeiffer’s face, in her eyes, that I just can’t ignore.In an ideal world Michelle would have received a best actress nomination for Wolf, alongside Meg Ryan for her genius work in When a Man Loves a Woman. If anyone knows of a portal into an alternate universe where that version of The 1994 Academy Awards played out I’d love to go back and see who wins.


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11 responses to “When a Man Loves a Woman vs Wolf

  1. Gosh…it is high time I watched Wolf again. I remember it being good and remember a number of scenes but not the whole thing. Best I go have a watch…
    Enjoy your week ahead, Paul.

  2. Never saw Wolf but I get what you are saying about depth and intelligence in Michelle. She’s got this onscreen integrity that shines through every single character she’s ever portrayed. Never been equaled in any other actress, not even close.
    We all love Meg here, too, it’s just two very different people in terms of screen presence. And I look forward to many more of your blogs trying to analyze the why and how of this element of movie history.

  3. Great post 🙂 This is one battle I really have to think about 🙂 Speaking of Wolf, did you know that Rick Baker did the makeup effects on that – he also did it for John Landis An American Werewolf in London. Landis did another horror film a decade later involving a vampire entitled Innocent Blood. If you have not see it, here is a youtube link to the trailer below. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment and the link. I hadn’t heard of the Landis’ film. Rick Baker’s work was impressive in films like Wolf and American Werewolf. I watched the 1976 version of King Kong the other week, he made the best if a difficult job in that film too.

  4. I enjoyed Wolf due, mostly, to Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance. I think she outshined Nicholson with intelligent restraint and that gave me satisfaction. That said, I felt Wolf is a darker themed and less effective retelling of Jerry Zucker’s delightful Ghost. But that’s just me.

  5. If I did have a time portal I’d convince the Oscar guys you’re a British superstar then they’d insist you gave these girls their joint Oscar!

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