Housewife U.
Mona Lisa Smile
Review by Ross Anthony

Julia Roberts stars as Katherine Watson, a Californian independent-minded art teacher at a New England traditional women's college in the 1950's.

Watson struggles to hold to her ideals in the face of sharp criticism and a rigid conservative atmosphere. Sort of a female "Dead Poet's Society." While the school prepares its students for marriage and housewifedom, Katherine attempts to open their minds to other avenues.

At times, touching, at times, many good points are made, at times un-engaging. After tattling several times, I could not understand why the film's other characters still hung around with the Kirsten Dunst character. Lastly, something about the Italian teacher sleeping with his students, I found repulsive, and since much screen time was given to this character my ability to enjoy the film waned. Too bad too, because Dunst, Stiles, and Roberts are among my favorite actors.

  • Mona Lisa Smile. Copyright © 2003. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ginnifer Goodwin, Dominic West, Juliet Stevenson, Marcia Gay Harden.
  • Directed by Mike Newell.
  • Screenplay by Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal.
  • Produced by Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Deborah Schindler, Paul Schiff at Columbia/Revolution/Red Om. (c) 2003. 119 minutes.

Grade..........................B- (1.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:03:40 PDT