Woman of the Year - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Woman of the Year Reviews

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April 2, 2016
You can't go wrong w/ Tracy & Hepburn & this one's no exception. They're witty, believable and just great together. Usually, these "comedies" are so lame that the word comedy doesn't even apply, but this one's actually pretty funny. I enjoyed it.
March 6, 2016
This was the first of nine pairings for Tracy & Hepburn, and is one of the best. Their chemistry in this film is amazing. I really liked both actors in this. The screenplay won an Oscar. The only knock against it for me was the ending, but it's still a highly entertaining film worth watching!
December 27, 2015
Like in Adam's Rib, Tracy and Hepburn explore the dynamics of the modern couple, as it existed in 1942. Hepburn plays a feminist whose refusal to compromise in any aspect of her life, or participate in the parenting of an adopted son, almost costs her the love of her life. Tracy plays a man who struggles to support his wife, while also asking for what he needs out of their marriage.
November 29, 2015
A good romantic comedy with Tracy and Hepburn at their best.
½ August 8, 2015
This is not my favorite pairing of Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, but the film plays well ahead of its' time for confronting the issues of females within society. This film lays the groundwork for a successful partnership that is to come on screen.
½ July 16, 2015
Watched this movie today. I love how it questions the true meaning of marriage and the typical household roles of a married couple. The only reason I took away half a star is because the ending was slightly disappointing. Tracy and Hepburn were great as always.
½ May 9, 2015
"Women should be kept clean, like canaries," secondary character Phil Whittaker (Roscoe Karns) muses at a baseball game. In attendance is Sam Craig (Spencer Tracy), a sportswriter, and his date, foreign correspondent Tess Harding (Katharine Hepburn). You see, the two are sitting in the coveted section of the arena set for journalists. While the other writers are attempting to get a story from the day's event, the loud Tess, wearing a large hat that blocks the view of hungry onlookers, constantly interrupts the tension by asking questions any non-sports fan would be curious about. It annoys everyone around her, except for the enchanted Sam - Phil's (jokingly?) sexist comment is well-timed but funny, as we're aware that Tess is a ball of fire that just won't be constrained like some clean canary.
The first forty-five minutes of "Woman of the Year" are a romantic comedy dream, a battle-of-the-sexes marriage satire that wonders aloud if a tough-guy like Spencer Tracy can handle having a wife that wears the pants of the relationship and brings home most of the bacon, while he, a mere sportswriter, sits around, waiting to be loved. But once those forty-five minutes are up, things sour, turning into a feminist nightmare. The film decides to turn against its titular Woman of the Year, critical that she likes to work hard, wishing that she could become a dream spouse, a wife full-time. Ugh.
"Woman of the Year" is, famously, the first pairing of Hepburn and Tracy, who endured a relationship lasting until his death in 1967. Unlike many of the other onscreen/offscreen couples of the era (Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward), the two were never married, and Hepburn, most of the time, seemed to dominate the relationship, with her trouser-wearing, exercise-loving persona. Tracy, in the meantime, was her foil, the guy who kept her from saying things like "I'm a personality as well as a star" most of the time. They were and are a dynamite pair, but "Woman of the Year" depletes what makes them so charismatic (though not all the time), placing them in roles that attempt to turn them into that old, cute married couple upstairs.
When Tess Harding and Sam Craig first hear of each other, fireworks hardly set off. Sam hears Tess dismiss the sports industry on the radio, favoring a world that focuses on the important things rather than the fluffers, and decides to write an article that criticizes her sensible ideas. Tess writes back, deflating his ego, and so on, and so on. They become rivals - until their very first meeting. Sam is struck by her intelligently sexy poise; Tess is attracted to Sam's gentlemanly instincts. They court, ultimately marrying. But what was once magnetic to Sam is getting old. Tess is so in love with her job that he can hardly count on her to greet him at home after a long day of work. Can she be the Woman of the Year and the Wife of the Year, too?
There isn't anything wrong with a marriage drama - but "Woman of the Year" initially promises that we're going to get a brainy romantic comedy, and, unexpectedly, turns into a drama with seldom comedy and not enough romance. It feels like Tess and Sam spend more of the film in turmoil than in love, and laughs exist only in the first and final acts - anything in-between is slightly bitter. So much of the time is used up with Tracy pouting about Hepburn's chronic busyness. I would have preferred a story in which Tess maybe brought Sam along with her on her many globetrotting endeavors, turning him into an odd-man-out while enjoying some pleasing comedic situations.
But most of the time, "Woman of the Year" stays serious, a disappointing fact considering how funny it can be. The ending, which sees Tess trying to be the perfect housewife by making Sam breakfast in bed, rings with potential hilarity. Hepburn is game, and her timing is flawless. In fact, the scene is hilarious. But it's also coated in wasted energy; why couldn't more of "Woman of the Year" had scenes like this? The film's many failures are not the fault of Hepburn and Tracy, though - Hepburn, in an Oscar nominated performance, slides through comedic, dramatic, and romantic scenes like a grizzled veteran, and Tracy, always an appealing lead, manages to keep Sam from going down too harsh of a path.
"Woman of the Year" would have been better as a screwball comedy, or a romantic drama without Tracy that saw career woman Hepburn flying around the globe, using men along the way, perhaps falling in love accidentally. But the film doesn't know if it wants to be a romantic comedy or a marriage drama. It's unsatisfying.
½ May 1, 2015
May be a classic, but it once again is simplistic & trite. Tracy is the bumbler, she plays her insensitive self.
December 6, 2014
"Woman of the Year" may not be the best plot for a romantic comedy, but Tracey and Hepburn make magic together in their first teaming.
July 6, 2014
Spencer Tracy portrays a blue collar sportswriter who falls in love with an intelligent, ambitious, and overachieving foreign correspondent (Katherine Hepburn). Their differences seem charming in the early days of their marriage, but their love is tested by jealousy, resentment, insensitivity, and an aversion to compromise. Much of this film's dialogue is informed by the mechanics of Depression-era screwball comedies. There's a lot of stuff here that comes off as dated or naive, but there's also some aspects of this movie that unexpectedly anticipate Second Wave Feminism. I don't think that Woman Of The Year has aged as gracefully as some other films from this period, but Tracy and Hepburn have an undeniable connection that gives little doubt as to why producers insisted upon reteaming them again and again.
June 21, 2014
a great story with a weak ending
½ June 14, 2014
I absolutely adore this movie. It's great to watch Katharine and Spencer fall in love in front of the camera. Their feelings for one another are palpable every time they are around each other. I want to be kissed in a darkened apartment in shadow, it's such a subtle sexy scene. It's much better than having something that would be right in your face like movies made today. My only complaint is the HORRIBLE ending. It doesn't go with the rest of the movie at all. I've read Katharine's autobiography and she felt the same way I believe. Other than that one issue, I enjoy this movie more and more each time I watch it.
½ June 12, 2014
Sweet love story between a confident, professional lady and an all-American sportswriter.
Super Reviewer
May 30, 2014
This real life couple are pretty cute in the scenarios that they end up together. Tracy and Hepburn were great on their own and they really play off one another to give us something special.
½ February 22, 2014
"Woman of the Year" is predictable and repetitive at many times, but it has its funny moments. There are no surprises, and the jokes fall flat quite a bit, but there are times of humor. The only thing that really keeps this movie from being mediocre are the leads, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Their chemistry is hard to dislike, and they are the centers of our attention.
½ February 19, 2014
The chemistry is strong between Tracy and Hepburn but the film dates itself. Hepburn's character starts off strong and independent but the director and writer have her cave in by the time the film ends with silly slapstick in the kitchen.
February 16, 2014
Their first film together. Such chemistry.
January 19, 2014
First of the Tracy-Hepburn movies. The bar scene and love scene are absolutely sublime. But the story wasn't quite funny enough for me, and I disliked the ending.
½ December 31, 2013
I'm not Seabiscuit.

Sam is a sports writer and Tess is a political writer for the same news paper. They decide to go to lunch one day, fall in love, and they eventually get married. Their relationship is strained by Tess's fast paced lifestyle and disregard for their relationship. Can Sam and Tess stay together or will their marriage end in a bitter divorce?

"This time I want to be a prize myself."

George Stevens, director of Shane, Giant, A Place in the Sun, Penny Serenade, Vivacious Lady, Laddie, The More the Merrier, and The Only Game in Town, delivers Woman of the Year. The storyline for this picture is a bit scattered but the characters are very interesting and well portrayed. The cast delivers excellent performances and includes Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Reginald Owen, William Bendix, Roscoe Karns.

"Our paper sends two men to cover this one game?"

I DVR'd this picture off Turner Classic Movies (TCM) because it starred Spencer Tracy. He looked so young in this movie and his every interaction with Katherine Hepburn was perfect. This film is a rollercoaster that is delivered very well. I strongly recommend seeing this film if you're a fan of the classics.

"As a substitution he won't do."

Grade: A-
September 8, 2013
A classic Hepburn-Tracy romance. What makes the duo work stems mainly from Hepburn whose strong-willed, independent and stubborn characters (who have no glimmer of self awareness) sweep the stoic Tracy into a whirlwind of madness, which stumbles through in somewhat of a daze.
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