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Better than I expected

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I'd never heard of 'The Other Woman' before I found it on Netflix, and I pretty much only watched it because I felt like seeing a movie set in New York City.

I certainly didn't choose 'The Other Woman' for its cast; neither Natalie Portman nor Lisa Kudrow would ever draw me to my local movie theater (or even to my Netflix queue) simply based on her presence. And I don't really have an opinion one way or the other about Lauren Ambrose or Anthony Rapp (the only other cast members in this film who I'm somewhat familiar with). Regardless, I thought that these actors were all effective, if not outstanding, in their roles. Portman in particular gives probably the strongest performance that I've seen from her (and, yes, I did see 'Black Swan').

'The Other Woman' is based on a book called "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits"; it centers on a young woman named Emilia (Portman) and her relationships with her 8-year-old stepson, her husband (who recently left his wife after a brief affair with Emilia), and the husband's (understandably) bitter ex-wife (Kudrow). There's also a story about Emilia and her husband's baby, who (at some point shortly before the story begins) died when she was just 3 days old; much of the film deals with Emilia's residual guilt. I haven't read the book, so I'm not sure how many things are different or similar in the movie version.

Anyhow, I'll admit that it was somewhat difficult to empathize with Emilia given the nature of how she met her husband and everything that followed. However, I don't think the point of 'The Other Woman' was necessarily to make viewers "sympathize" with Emilia rather than to show some of the effects of an affair -- as well as Emilia's personal struggles as "the other woman" (particularly her guilt over the death of her infant daughter, and her efforts to get along with her spoiled and often bratty stepson, William).

The film isn't for everybody -- and I didn't much care about a subplot involving Emilia's relationship with her parents -- but 'The Other Woman' was better than I expected, and might be worth checking out if you like quiet dramas, or movies that deal with familial relationships. (6/10)

Added by thaskett
3 years ago on 20 February 2015 23:56

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