Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

Scoop's comments in white: 

A collection of five loosely connected stories centering around various special concerns of women, this film was premiered on Showtime, and has typical chick-flick numbers at IMDb. Women in general rate it 8.2, and people under 18 rate it 9.4. I think you'll get the idea from the plot summaries.

Story One - Glenn Close is a doctor caring for her ancient invalid mother, watching her own life pass away.

Story Two- Holly Hunter is a fortyish executive dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.

Story Three- children's book author Kathy Baker can't decide whether to date that tiny little guy who used to pal around with Kramer on Seinfeld 

Story Four - Calista Flockhart takes care of her dying lesbian lover.

Story Five - Amy Brenneman is a lonely policewoman investigating a suicide, who realizes that the lonely victim could easily have been herself. Cameron Diaz co-stars as her blind sister.

It was shot by Lubezki, the guy who was the cinematographer for Great Expectations and Sleepy Hollow, so you know it looks great.

Although it is a good, honest film, I think the chances are that you don't want to see it unless you have a vagina. My suggestion is that you read the plot summaries. If they sound appealing to you, the execution is very good.


Holly Hunter's breasts are seen twice, briefly, in Episode 2. During the second episode, at her doctor's office, the exposure can only be seen on the full-matte full screen version.

There is also a naked VERY old woman in Episode 1, and a naked old guy in episode five

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1, as well as a full screen version

  • no major features

Tuna's comments in yellow:

Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her (2001) is an estrogen-centric made-for-Showtime that examines several women who are very loosely connected in 5 separate stories. Scoop did a good job of summarizing the plots in his review, so I won't repeat his efforts. If there is a common theme in the stories, it is that most women actually live life feeling alone, no matter what relationships they are in. The explanation seems to be that either they have a poor self-image, or they fear to trust. The film tends to blame men, but I think the average man would say that the characters are creating their own isolation, and most women would see feelings they can relate to. For example. Holly Hunter, who has the only exposure in the film, is a 39-year-old bank manager who discovers that she is pregnant alone in a bathroom stall. She opts for an abortion without consulting the married black man she has been having an affair with for three years, does not want her friend and OB/Gyn there during the abortion, and has sex with a co-worker the night before but leaves the minute he falls asleep. Her isolation is clearly due to choices she has made.

The film is made for cable, and intended to be shown in 4/3 aspect ratio, yet they created a "widescreen" version for the DVD by cropping top and bottom and enlarging, which not only degraded image quality and cropped one of the two partial breast shots, but also took away other important content. At one point, Hunter is talking to a bag lady who doesn't believe she is single and asks her to show her her ring finger. In the 4/3 version, we see a very naked hand. The hand is completely cut off in the widescreen version. When looking for exposure, you really have to watch both versions, but when simply watching a film, you should see it in the original aspect ratio, as that has the framing the director intended.

I didn't much enjoy this film, but it did cause me to do a lot of thinking, so the content is obviously meaningful. Technically, the film is excellent. This could really use a commentary to help men get it. Women, as indicated by the 8.2 from women at IMDB, already get it, or it at least strikes some familiar chords with them.

The Critics Vote

  • no major reviews

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 7.2 
  • With their dollars ... no theatrical release in the USA. Shown on Showtime
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+ (both reviewers). Sensitive chick-flick. Guys beware - it's a good movie, but read the plot summaries to see if it's your kind of material.

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