The Great New Wonderful (2005) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

You regular readers know that we have found the IMDb sub-ratings to be a marvelous tool to measure the estrogen content of movies. The popular movie site provides not only a general rating for each film based on all voters, but also various breakdowns by age, sex, and place of origin. After having studied these ratings for many years, we've concluded that the estrogen level can be calculated quite precisely by subtracting the male rating from the female rating. The fundamental equations of film estrogen algebra are



In other words, the movie estrogen level (ME) is the difference between the female rating and the male rating. If the ME is one or higher, meaning the female score is one full point or more higher than the male score, it's a chick-flick. The female/male differential is the key to the equation, not the overall female rating, because a film rated high by women is not automatically a chick-flick. Let's take two major examples:

Example One: The Notebook is probably the most popular film in history with females under 18. That group rates it a remarkable 9.3, compared to 9.2 for Amelie and 8.9 for Gone with the Wind. Women in general rate The Notebook 8.7. That makes it a film which is extremely popular with girls and very popular with women, but we find this to be just short of chick-flick status, because men rate it 7.8, and 7.8 is high enough to get a film into the top 250 of all time! By the way, for reasons unclear to me, IMDb does not list this film in its top 250, even though it has a very high score based on a very large number of votes (more than 20,000). It should be somewhere in the 130s on the Top 250 list, as the following comparison demonstrates:

Film name Rank Overall Score Score with "Top 1000 voters" Number of votes
Amores Perros #137 8.0 6.7 23,064
The Notebook unrated 8.0 7.0 23,591

IMDb does not reveal the secret behind their calculations, but there seems to be no credible explanation for the disparity between these two films.

Example Two: Amelie may have the highest overall female rating of any film. Women rate it 8.9, compared to 8.7 for The Notebook, 8.6 for Gone with the Wind and 8.5 for The Godfather. We do not consider Amelie a chick-flick, however, because men rate it 8.6. That means it would be rated in the top 25 of all time even if women were not allowed to vote at all. It just happens to be a great film that women like slightly better than men.

Here are some examples of films that really are chick-flicks, with the female/male differential listed in parens:

  • Beaches (1.3)
  • Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1.2)
  • Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (1.1)
  • Steel Magnolias (1.1)
  • Fried Green Tomatoes (1.0)

If you are familiar with those movies, you will be surprised to know that none of them is even close to the all-time movie estrogen champion, which is Dirty Dancing at 2.0. The good news for guys is that watching the Swayze dancefest with a woman almost guarantees that you will get laid. The bad news is that watching it will lower your testosterone to such a minimal level that you'll want to cuddle and watch Oprah instead. Plus you won't want to kiss anyone after the film, because it makes you vomit a little in the back of your throat.

OK, I'm finally getting to the point of this whole digression. The Great New Wonderful has a movie estrogen level of 2.2. You're going to need some time for that to sink in. Like the size of the physical universe, it is a concept which cannot be imagined by even the most sophisticated human brain. That means it has twice as much estrogen as the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. The theoretical physics of movie estrogen postulates that it will simply not be able to sustain that level without imploding upon itself like a black hole.

Fortunately for me, it is a film which consists of five separate stories, and the special features on the DVD allow one to watch the stories separately instead of watching the full-length theatrical version, which has all five stories intercut. Since there was nudity in only one of the stories, I watched only that one. It was a narrow escape for my masculinity, because many states allow convicted rapists to watch all five as a form of voluntary chemical castration, and watching even three is almost sure to turn one gay, especially if the selections include the one with Olympia Dukakis. While watching one of them did not turn me gay, I did get a sudden craving to eat a banana, and instead of biting it off a bit at a time, I felt an urge to just slide the fruit far down my throat while pursing my lips over the center of it. After I finished that, I suddenly had an urge to go to Blockbuster and rent "Andy Dick in Concert." Fortunately, my daughter intercepted me, sensed the problem, and dragged me to one of those drafthouse theaters, where she forced me to watch a Lee Marvin film festival and to wash down a big-ass burger with several brewskis. I soon recovered.

Oh, yeah. The film. I almost forgot. The film consists of five warm, human stories of New Yorkers trying to cope in the aftermath of 9/11.



  • widescreen, anamorphically enhanced
  • view all at once or as five separate mini-movies
  • deleted scenes
  • NYC behind the scenes
  • full length director commentary



Judy Greer shows on nipple in a sex scene, and the bottom half of her bum in some other scenes.

The Critics Vote ...


The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 6.7/10 (Women 8.4, Men 6.2)
  • Box Office Mojo. It was made with a mere $500,000, but features some name stars and has some nice production values. It grossed very little, never having reached more than eight theaters.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our 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. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • 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, I think. (I only watched a fifth of it.) I can say that it looks very impressive for a film with a $500,000 budget.

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