The original movie featured Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell and Joan Fontaine. The updated version, which retains the basic story line of a group of female friends reacting to the infidelity of one member's husband, boasts a high-profile cast of contemporary actresses: Smith, Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Debra Messing and Eva Mendes.
"My mother and my aunt loved that film," Smith replied when asked by reporters in New York if she was familiar with the 1939 edition of "The Women." "When my mother found out that I would be participating in this film, she and my aunt went through the roof. She was like, 'You have to do it.' I was getting phone calls every day. ... I met with (writer-director) Diane (English) and I read the script and I loved it. (I thought:) 'This is a must. I have to do it.'"