Conversations with Other Women

Movie review by
Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media
Conversations with Other Women Movie Poster Image
Pining affair for mature art house fans.
  • R
  • 2005
  • 84 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The woman is married with children and the man is living with his girlfriend, but the main characters still sleep with each other. Then they collude with each other to lie to their respective partners about it. The film also seems to be saying that suicidal depression and loneliness are romantic.

Violence

The man talks about killing himself and the two of them killing themselves together when they're old.

Sex

A woman and a man in other relationships sleep with each other. The woman's bare breasts are visible. There's lots of kissing and memories, depicted in a split screen of previous lovemaking as a younger couple. In one scene, a man's naked butt is visible.

Language

Scant cursing. Several uses of "f--k" and one use of "bulls--t."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The woman chain smokes. The man and woman drink some champagne.

What 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.

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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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • 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?

Movie details

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