I Could Never Be Your Woman

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I Could Never Be Your Woman
I Could Never Be Your Woman film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAmy Heckerling
Written byAmy Heckerling
Produced by
CinematographyBrian Tufano
Edited byKate Coggins
Music byMike Hedges
Bauer Martinez Studios
Distributed byThe Weinstein Company
Release date
  • May 11, 2007 (2007-05-11) (Spain)
  • February 12, 2008 (2008-02-12) (United States)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$24 million[1]
Box office$9.6 million[2]

I Could Never Be Your Woman is a 2007 American romantic comedy film directed and written by Amy Heckerling and starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Paul Rudd. The film was released on May 11, 2007 in Spain, July 18 in Belgium, September 14 in Brazil, September 20 in Greece and October 19 in Taiwan. The film was not released theatrically in the United States, instead going direct to DVD on February 12, 2008. It was also sent straight to DVD in Italy (February 6), the UK (July 14), Finland (August 6), Australia, Iceland (both August 27) and Germany (December 11). It also went direct to DVD on February 1, 2011 in France. It is the film debut of Irish actress Saoirse Ronan. The title of the film is taken from a lyric from the 1997 song "Your Woman" by British artist White Town.


Rosie (Michelle Pfeiffer) is a 40-year-old divorced mother who works as a scriptwriter and producer for a TV show You Go Girl. Rosie is insecure about her age, and uses cosmetics to maintain her appearance. She has a very close relationship with her thirteen-year-old daughter, Izzie (Saoirse Ronan), which becomes even closer when she learns that Izzie has fallen for a boy in her class named Dylan (Rory Copus).

Despite her ex-husband's urging that she start dating again, Rosie has no man in her life. To the dismay of Rosie and David (David Mitchell), her British co-writer, her boss Marty (Fred Willard) decides that the show may no longer cover controversial subjects, so Rosie decides to cast a new character for the show. She is taken by Adam (Paul Rudd), a bright and charming young man from one of her auditions, and decides to cast him as a new, nerdy character to fall for the character played by her arrogant and self-centered lead actress, Brianna (Stacey Dash). Adam's character is well received by test audiences, and Rosie persuades Marty to give him a chance.

As she continues to offer Izzie advice on Dylan, Rosie becomes smitten by Adam, who suggests they go out to a club together. When he comes to pick her up, Adam bonds with Izzie immediately, helping her complete a mission on a video game she was playing in order to impress Dylan. While there, Rosie lies about her age and says that she's 36, while Adam says that he is 32. Rosie is nervous about the age difference, but when he goes onto the dance floor at the nightclub, she realizes he is as free spirited as her, and joins him. The two kiss in Adam's car, during which Rosie admits that she's actually 40, only to be startled when Adam reveals that he's actually 29.

Adam assures her that he doesn't care about their age difference at all, and the two continue their relationship. Nevertheless, Rosie's insecurity over her age begins to come out, egged on by her internal conversations with Mother Nature (Tracey Ullman), and she confesses to Adam that she is not sure that their relationship is going to work, to his confusion. Meanwhile, their relationship draws the jealousy of Rosie's secretary, Jeannie (Sarah Alexander), who begins to sabotage them by stealing Adam's gifts to Rosie, and then by stealing Adam's phone, taking a photograph of Brianna in a compromising position with it, and then putting it in Rosie's handbag, which does not succeed. Rosie continues to be nervous when she hears a recording of Adam flirting with Brianna (he had been encouraged to in order to keep her calm and the center of attention). Things become worse when Izzie has a failed double date with Dylan, and she starts to become insecure about her own appearance, something that concerns Rosie.

When Adam is first shown on television, he is an instant hit, and he starts to become famous from it. This leads to Rosie becoming even more insecure, and worrying that Adam will take advantage of his fame and start looking at younger women. Her situation worsens further when her show is unexpectedly cancelled. Shortly after, Adam is given a role in an upcoming sitcom, and she is shocked to discover a speeding ticket sent to Adam showing him in a car with Brianna. Already in a foul mood, Rosie is forced to berate Izzie when, during a chance encounter with her friend, Henry Winkler, he reveals that Izzie and her friend had prank-called a number of celebrities in her phone book.

She confronts Adam with the photograph of him with Brianna, and he is shocked, having never been in a car with her before. Rosie angrily breaks up with him. Despite this, Adam makes numerous attempts to reconcile with her, including refusing to film the new sitcom he has been offered to take part in until she is named a co-producer. Meanwhile, Rosie is looking through a bloopers reel of her old show, when she realizes that it was filmed at the time that the speeding ticket claimed Adam had been driving with Brianna, and deduces that the only person who could have sent it was Jeannie. She proceeds to confront Jeannie when Marty calls her to his office to offer her a job on Adam's sitcom, and hits Jeannie in the face, reducing Jeannie to tears. She then reconciles with Adam. Later, at a school talent show, she sees Izzie has finally succeeded in winning Dylan over, and watches as the two kiss. Mother Nature reminds her that, in growing older, she is making way for a girl like Izzie to replace her.


A number of British comedy actors have roles in the film, including David Mitchell, Mackenzie Crook, Steve Pemberton, Olivia Colman, Phil Cornwell and Sarah Alexander, as well as Irish comedy actors Graham Norton and Ed Byrne.


Heckerling's inspiration for I Could Never Be Your Woman came from her own personal life as a single mother raising a young daughter during the making of the Clueless TV show. According to Missy Schwartz in an Entertainment Weekly article on the film, "Every day, she felt increasingly ambivalent about working in an industry that promotes unrealistic standards of beauty for young girls and considers women over 40 to be prehistoric beasts."[1]

Heckerling sent her script for Woman to Paramount Pictures, but the studio was unnerved into backing a film about an older female protagonist.[1] The script was eventually read by independent producer Philippe Martinez of Bauer Martinez Entertainment, and he picked up the film with a $25 million budget.[1]

Principal photography began in August 2005 and ended later in the year. Although many scenes were shot in California, several scenes were shot in London, England to take advantage of tax incentives.[1] In order to cut production costs even further, Martinez suggested to Michelle Pfeiffer to take a reduced salary ($1 million, plus 15% of the gross).[1]


Bauer Martinez signed a deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to distribute the film theatrically, and The Weinstein Company for DVD and non-pay TV distribution rights.[1] MGM backed out upon learning about Pfieffer's share in the film's revenue.[1] After Bauer Martinez failed to find a theatrical distributor, the film was released straight to video in North America.[1]


Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 64% based on reviews from 11 critics, with an average rating of 5.7/10.[3]

Joe Leydon of Variety called it "A desperately unfunny mix of tepid showbiz satire and formulaic romantic comedy."[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Schwartz, Missy. "Would You Dump This Woman?" Entertainment Weekly Issue #977 (Feb 08, 2008)
  2. ^ "I Could Never Be Your Woman". Box Office Mojo.
  3. ^ I Could Never Be Your Woman at Rotten Tomatoes
  4. ^ Leydon, Joe (February 21, 2008). "I Could Never Be Your Woman". Variety.

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