The Other Charlotte and I just had to see The Stepford Wives–after all, it’s all about feminism, and so is InkWell. Afterwards we looked at each other and shook our heads. Just as the critics say, it’s one lousy movie, although there are funny moments, and Glenn Close as Stepford Lady #1 steals every scene reprising her greatest cinematic role: Cruella DeVille. When she smooches a severed head at film’s end, she’s as over-the-top as Bette Davis ever was. Nicole Kidman is also a scream at the movie’s beginning as the hard-driving TV exec and husband-emasculator Joanna Eberhard, creator of the reality show “I Can Do Better,” featuring husbands and wives who spend a weekend with great-looking, oversexed prostitutes and then decide whether to return to each other. These scenes last about five minutes into the movie, however, and then Joanna gets fired and moves to Stepford, and it’s all downhill.

“The Stepford Wives” violates several hard-and-fast rules of cinematic plots. One rule is: In a robot movie, all the robots (not just one or two) must eventually go berserk; otherwise, what’s the point? Another is: Characters are allowed to sneak into someone else’s home/men’s club only once per movie, not three repetitive times, as in “The Stepford Wives.” A third rule is: During the climactic scene at Robot Central in which you try to disable the machine responsible for all the evil, your life must be in danger; otherwise, where’s the suspense?

The worst failing of “The Stepford Wives” is its utter falsity. It is false to marriage and relations between the sexes, suggesting that wives have exactly two options in life: Be a Stepford Wife, that is, a homebound slave to your husband’s whims, or go to work and turn your husband into a Stepford Wife, aka a wimpy, “sensitive” stay-at-home dad. And while stay-at-home fatherhood is good in this movie, stay-at-home motherhood is unspeakable. The Stepford Wives are moronic frill-head bimbos who hysterically overdecorate every corner of their homes with furbelows, bake 5,000 cupcakes at a time, and stuff their obese, spoiled children with treats. The movie mocks other institutions: Christianity (which in “The Stepford Wives” takes the form of condescending anti-Semitism toward Stepford’s only Jewish couple, played by Bette Midler and Jon Lovitz), patriotism, and, yes, the Republican Party. The movie makes it plain that Stepford husbands and wives do not vote Democratic. We are supposed to find all these things–stay-at-home motherhood, Christianity, patriotism, and Republicans–equally ridiculous.

The movie’s most egregious falsity, however, is its falsity to Connecticut. The sedate, preppie dullness of that state’s posh bedroom suburbs is supposed to be part of the joke: “Only in Connecticut would nobody notice a town full of robots,” a character quips. But from watching “The Stepford Wives,” you’d think that no one connected with the movie had ever set foot in Darien, New Canaan, Bedminster or those other manicured redoubts of the nation’s upper crust. If they had, they would have noticed that suburban Connecticut wives do not, unlike the Stepford Wives in this film, dye their hair blond and tease it big, teeter about in high heels, or plaster on the makeup like cake-icing. Understated to the point of expensive drabness is the name of the female game in Connecticut. Nor does anyone in suburban Connecticut go to church–please!–unless they’re showing a documentary about Castro’s health-care program in the basement. Vote Republican? No way–Connecticut’s a blue state. Connecticut residents do not hold raucous square dances as in this movie, nor do they plaster every square inch with American flags on the Fourth of July.

But of course “The Stepford Wives” isn’t supposed to be a poke in the eye at Connecticut. It’s supposed to be a poke in the eye at the red-state Sunbelt, where all of these activities go on, including, presumably, the oppression of women. These are the kind of people who voted for George Bush in 2000. Hollywood has to politicize everything these days, and it’s done it again, with the usual crudeness, in “The Stepford Wives.”