In the Land of Women opens with three tragedies: Carter Webb (Adam Brody) gets dumped, his grandmother (Olympia Dukakis) believes she is dying, and his soon-to-be-neighbor Sarah Hardwicke (Meg Ryan) thinks she has breast cancer. Carter, taking a reprieve from penning soft-core porn flicks, goes to take care of his grandmother and write that novel about high school he’s been meaning to write (as we all have). Sarah and her two daughters (a precocious 11 year old and an angsty teen) lavish Carter not only with their problems, but with their affection as well. No — I haven’t confused Adam Brody with Kevin Costner in Rumor Has It. He’s just that cool.
The film plays like an ambitious mediocre TV episode of the two-part variety, alternating dorm room- and nursing home-revelations, which is no surprise considering writer/director Jon Kasdan has written for Freaks and Geeks and Dawson’s Creek and star Brody is best known for The O.C.. The performances may be competent, but the material is staid and the sentiment cloying and common — nothing you can’t find on TV any given half-hour.