Hot on the heels of the Sex and the City Movie comes this enjoyable tale of female relationships courtesy of a stellar all-woman cast.

Based on George Cukor's 1939 film about a group of bitchy New York ladies, The Women offers a diluted version of the original plot.

Meg Ryan stars as Mary Haines who seems to have it all as she impressively juggles being a wife, mother and social hostess with a part-time career as a clothes designer.

But her seemingly perfect life begins to unravel when she discovers her stockbroker husband has been cheating on her with gold-digging perfume counter girl Crystal Allen (Eva Mendes).

Her close circle of gal pals – including an ambitious magazine editor, a black lesbian and a ditsy earth mother – quickly rally to her aide when they hear of the betrayal.

Encouraged by her steely mother, Mary plays it cool in a bid to win back her cheating husband. But she suffers the ultimate break-up when her best friend, ambitious magazine editor Sylvie Fowler (Annette Bening), betrays her privacy in order to save her career.

Written for the screen and directed by Diane English, The Women is, for the most part, a heart-warming tale of female friendship with some amusing moments thrown in.

Mary’s mother, played by Candice Bergen, delivers some of the film’s funniest lines – “Face lift at two o'clock – she looks like she's re-entering the atmosphere!”. Ironic as most of the cast look like they’ve succumbed to the surgeon’s knife. Meg Ryan’s prominent cheeks accentuated by Shirley Temple curls and Lesley Ash ‘trout pout’ upstage her in every scene.

Bening, who is also suddenly looking a good ten years younger, provides some comic relief but there are few laugh-out-loud moments.

Bette Midler puts in a brilliant but too brief performance as a spliff-loving Hollywood agent who advises Mary on getting her life back on track.

Eva Mendes does a good job of portraying the villain of the piece, maneater Crystal, who betrays the sisterhood with a smile on her face.

And the brilliant Debra Messing, who is woefully underused, puts in another charmingly quirky performance as baby making machine and mother hen Edie. Her son’s birth in the final scene, which is hilariously portrayed by Messing, is the one and only sighting of a man throughout the movie.

This watchable but not earth-shattering tale is definitely one just for the ladies. It’s not a patch on Sex and the City though...