What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the couple in this film are married to others, talk about how wrong it is to sleep together, but do it anyway. Then they collude to lie to each others' partners about what they've just done. The man also talks about killing himself out of loneliness and longing, which may be disturbing to some viewers.
What's the story?
Stuck at a wedding, two guests (Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhart) feel alienated from the festive partygoers and the happy couple. But they find solace in smoking, drinking, and inappropriate flirting. As the night wears on, the mysterious couple, who are never named, begin to have a past. The woman lives in London, married to her second husband, a cardiologist. The man remains in New York and is dating "Sarah the dancer," a woman 15 years his junior. Despite these commitments, the couple is together until morning, rehashing the past and past relationships they can't let go of while they indulge in a present affair.
Is it any good?
Conversations with Other Women wants to be a condensed, sexed-up version of the moment Bogey and Bergman meet again in Casablanca. What it succeeds in is being an excellent character study in anti-romance -- it's not so much a love story as a cautionary tale of what happens when you can't get over your first love.
In arty conceit, director Hans Canosa shot his film entirely in split screen to illustrate the schism between the lives and the needs of the main characters. This device, and the film, are most effective during the love scenes. Bonham Carter and Eckhart are brilliant and believable, their easy intimacy and affection ringing true. But the dialogue is arch, like a play translated directly to film. In the end, Conversations will hold the interest of art film aficionados, but won't have them clamoring for more.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about relationships. What roles do former flames play in current relationships? Can you have any lingering sentimental feelings or can you move on without looking back? This is also a good opportunity to talk to teens about what kind of relationship they want to be in. Would you put up with a relationship like the one Sarah has with the man? What are signs that your boyfriend or girlfriend is still hung up on someone else? How do you know whether to stay with that person or not?