The Other Woman

(2009)

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Review: The Other Woman

Transcript for Review: The Other Woman

CHRISTY:  
OUR FIRST MOVIE IS "THE OTHER WOMAN," STARRING NATALIE PORTMAN AS THE OTHER WOMAN.  PORTMAN PLAYS EMILIA, THE SECOND WIFE OF A MANHATTAN LAWYER NAMED JACK, PLAYED BY SCOTT COHEN.

WHEN WE MEET THE COUPLE, THEIR MARRIAGE IS IN A FRAGILE STATE. THEY'VE JUST LOST A BABY AFTER ONLY THREE DAYS OF LIFE AND EMILIA IS HAVING TROUBLE BONDING WITH JACK'S SON FROM HIS FIRST MARRIAGE, PLAYED BY CHARLIE TAHAN.  FLASHBACKS REVEAL HOW THEIR AFFAIR BEGAN.

CLIP FROM “THE OTHER WOMAN”
>> I THINK WE SHOULD MOVE IN TOGETHER.
>> EMILIA 
>> JUST HEAR ME OUT. I LOVE YOU AND I KNOW YOU LOVE ME TOO.
>> I LOVE YOU.  I DO.  BUT I HAVE A FAMILY.
>> YOU HAVE A SON, JACK.  YOU DON'T HAVE A MARRIAGE.

CHRISTY:
BUT JACK'S EXWIFE, A STATUSHUNGRY DOCTOR PLAYED BY LISA KUDROW, IS HELLBENT ON GETTING THEIR SON INTO AN ELITE PRIVATE SCHOOL, AND, UNDERSTANDABLY, NOT TOO HAPPY ABOUT SEEING THE WOMAN WHO BROKE UP HER MARRIAGE.

CLIP FROM “THE OTHER WOMAN”
>> THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT. WILL HAS BEEN SO DISTRACTED AND TENSE AND EMOTIONAL. I'M SURE THEY SENSE THAT IN THE INTERVIEWS.
>> WHAT?
>> YOU WON'T BE HAPPY UNTIL YOU RUIN EVERYTHING.

CHRISTY:
YOUNG WILLIAM IS ONE OF THOSE PRECOCIOUS, NEUROTIC KIDS YOU ONLY SEE IN MOVIES, THE KIND WHO ARE OBSESSIVECOMPULSIVE ABOUT GERMS AND ONLY EAT PUDDING MADE OF SOY.

CLIP FROM “THE OTHER WOMAN”
>> IT'S MUCH HARDER THAN BASKETBALL, ACTUALLY, THAT'S WHY MY MOM RUNS IN THE STREET AND NOT THE SIDEWALK. SHE KNOWS THAT KIND OF THING. SHE'S A DOCTOR.
>> DOES SHE RUN WITH A HELMET? YOU SHOULD MENTION THAT TO HER.

CHRISTY:
BUT DIRECTOR DON ROOS’ FILM IS ALL OVER THE PLACE IN TERMS OF TONE, DEPICTING COMPLEX FEELINGS IN AN OVERALL SIMPLISTIC WAY, REMINISCENT OF A MADEFORTV MOVIE. AT THE SAME TIME, GAPING EMOTIONAL HOLES WERE LEFT.

DOESN'T ANYONE HERE FEEL THE SLIGHTEST BIT GUILTY THAT THIS AFFAIR HAS DAMAGED SO MANY LIVES?  AND WHAT DOES EMILIA SEE IN JACK ANYWAY?  THEY HAVE ZERO CHEMISTRY.  IT MAKES YOU WONDER WHETHER ANY OF THIS WAS WORTH THE ANXIETY.

IGNATIY:
I FEEL LIKE THIS WAS A SERIES OF FAIRLY PRECISE SOCIAL OBSERVATIONS, THAT NEVER QUITE COHERES INTO A FILM.  I THINK THERE’S AN OBVIOUS INTELLIGENCE AT WORK, THERE ARE SOME VERY STRONG SCENES.   FOR EXAMPLE, I THINK THE SEQUENCE WHERE LAUREN AMBROSE'S CHARACTER, WHO HAS HAD A MISCARRIAGE, IS TOLD BY NATALIE PORTMAN THAT HER MISCARRIAGE DIDN'T MATTER AS MUCH AS THE DEATH HER CHILD, BUT THEN IT NEVER QUITE COMES TOGETHER INTO ANYTHING.  

IT FEELS LIKE, A LOT OF TIME, THE FILM IS JUST KILLING TIME, FOR LACK OF A BETTER WORD.

CHRISTY:
YEAH, THAT LAUREN AMBROSE SCENE IS ONE OF THE RARE MOMENTS OF REALISM, THERE ARE SOME SCENES WITH NATALIE PORTMAN AND THE LITTLE BOY WHICH RING TRUE TO ME, BUT THEN YOU HAVE THESE WEIRD GAPS IN LOGIC, IN EMOTIONAL RESONANCE, LIKE: THEY'RE HAVING THE AFFAIR, THEY AGREE TO MOVE IN TOGETHER AND ALL OF A SUDDEN, IT'S CONGRATULATIONS, JACK AND EMILIA, AND EVERYBODY IS HAPPY FOR THEM.  EXCEPT FOR LISA KUDROW, OF COURSE.

IGNATIY:
IT'S INTERESTING BECAUSE THE FILM SEEMS VERY WILLING TO GO INTO A CERTAIN EMOTIONAL TERRITORY AND THEN SKIPS OVER OTHER THINGS COMPLETELY.  IT SEEMS LIKE WE GET A VERY GOOD SENSE OF THE MOMENT WHERE THEY MEET.  WE DON'T REALLY GET A VERY GOOD SENSE OF HOW THEIR RELATIONSHIP ACTUALLY DEVELOPS.

CHRISTY:
RIGHT.  AND THE FILM TACKS ON THIS VERY FACILE, KIND OF, DADDY ISSUE THING SHE MIGHT BE HAVING WITH HIM, THAT PERHAPS HE'S LIKE HER FATHER, HE'S A LAWYER, HER FATHER IS A JUDGE.  THAT’S, LIKE, POP PSHYCOLOGY, I THINK.

IGNATIY:
WELL, THE FILM TACKS ON A LOT OF ISSUES AND THEN IT NEVER QUITE FOLLOWS ANY OF THEM THROUGH.

CHRISTY:
 I COULDN'T WAIT FOR IT TO END.  IT MADE NO SENSE TO ME AT ALL.