I don't know if they were going for laughs when they made this movie, but man, they sure got them. I suppose the humor is unintentional, but I laughed nevertheless. First of all, Donna Mills' husband, Michael Ontkean, is such an obnoxious jerk in the beginning, you find yourself actually kind of hoping he gets replaced by a robot. Bouncing a filthy basketball off the freshly painted interior wall of your new house is not something that men do, it's something that schmucks do.
Meanwhile, the husbands in town who have been Stepford-ized engage in such creepy, horrific behavior as not being slobs, not insulting their wives, and not knowing the play-by-play score of a basketball game. Scary! As it turns out, the husbands are not being replaced by robots, but instead are being shipped to a clinic where they get pumped full of drugs that make them docile and suggestible. A reprehensible thing to do to a person, for sure, but not as bad as being murdered and replaced by a robot.
Here's a typical scene from this movie: Michael Ontkean: Hey man, you want to shoot some one-on-one while our wives are putting dinner on the table? Stepford Husband: Nah, I'd better help her set the table.
Cut back to Michael Ontkean, recoiling in disgust and dread.
Anyway, Michael Ontkean gets shipped off to The Clinic and comes back an actually pretty decent guy, albeit one who has to take about 50 pills a day. At one point, Michael Ontkean starts coming on to his wife, but she's not in the mood, so he says, "that's okay, we'll just cuddle." The look of absolute horror and repulsion that comes over Donna Mills' face after he says that is hilarious.
Eventually, Donna Mills tires of her new-and-improved husband, and secretly replaces his dozens of psychotropic medications with lookalike vitamins. At this point, the audience learns that Donna Mills' character is borderline retarded, and only she is surprised when she consults an out-of-town doctor about taking her husband off his meds cold turkey, and the doctor practically screams, "are you crazy? Taking someone off all these powerful, psychotropic medicines could cause a psychotic break!" So Donna Mills heads back home and meekly sneaks in through the front door to find her furniture slashed to shreds, cabinets and shelves overturned, and broken glass all over the floor. Again proving that she has an IQ in the low double digits, Donna Mills' character does not turn and run out of the house, but rather continues further into the house, sweetly cooing, "honey, are you all right?" Uh, what do you think, lady? Sure enough, Michael Ontkean comes around the corner looking like a homicidal maniac screaming "what did you do to me?!" All the while, Donna Mills is apologizing and trying to convince him not to bash her head in with a baseball bat. Somehow she succeeds and promises to take him to a real doctor, but just then Cindy Williams and her fellow Stepfordians burst in and drag Michael Ontkean away to be reprogrammed. Donna Mills quickly makes the even-more-retarded Cindy Williams believe that she's totally on board with it, and knocks Cindy senseless when she turns her back. Donna Mills gets to the clinic, saves her husband, and they hightail it out of Stepford once and for all.
I guess the overriding theme of this movie is that men, in their natural state, are immature, obnoxious louses and that any attempt to civilize their behavior is unnatural and abhorrent. In other words, men who help their wives set the table, instead of keeping their eyes glued to a basketball game with their buts solidly attached to the couch, are a sort of abomination. Is this really the only way the writers could have approached this story? I guess I'd be offended if the movie weren't a laugh riot.
Review by Glasskey-1 from the Internet Movie Database.