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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Family relationships are fraught with tension and conflict, and issues that have been dormant for years can suddenly reappear. People are often careless with each other, and bad choices can have a long-lasting impact.
Positive Role Models
The three parents at the center of this drama all show poor judgment when interacting with each other, especially since there's a child involved. A man leaves his wife for a younger woman, the new wife sometimes resents her stepson, and the ex-wife criticizes the stepmom to the child. They all act selfish and childish at times.
Violence & Scariness
Parents argue in front of their child.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A married man has an affair with a colleague. They're shown kissing in bed without their shirts on (but breasts are not visible).
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Some strong language, sometimes spoken in front of a child. Words include "f--k," "s--t," "sucks," "goddammit," and "bulls--t."
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Products & Purchases
References to eBay, Tofutti, Fairway Market, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, The Lion King, and many New York private schools.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult colleagues drink champagne and wine at a work event. A man drinks beer while relaxing at home.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that while this family drama is earnest and well-meaning, the story about a man who leaves his wife for another woman (Natalie Portman) and then tries to create a family with his son and the new wife after tragedy strikes isn't age appropriate for tweens or younger teens. It addresses subjects -- including miscarriage, infidelity, and animosity between a stepparent and her stepchild -- that are too heavy for younger viewers. There are also a few sexual situations (though no nudity), plus swearing (sometimes in front of a child) and drinking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
For a drama that deals with such weighty issues, THE OTHER WOMAN is woefully inert (it sometimes feels like it crawled, rather than leapt, off of Waldman's pages and onto the screen). One moment is barely differentiated from the next, never mind how tragic or terrible or poignant what's happening might be. The dialogue describes rather than illuminates, loose ends are tied up with little build-up, and the storytelling doesn't surprise (when eBay becomes a dramatic device, you know a movie's reaching).
It's a waste of a good cast, really, and not just Portman. Though she and Cohen have little chemistry, he's in perfectly good form, as are Kudrow and Six Feet Under's Lauren Ambrose, who ought to have been given something meatier to work with. All of that said, the film does have some interesting moments, especially one in particular, when Emilia's pain is leavened by an unexpected source; in Portman's hands, the scene feels palpable and true. It's apparent that the filmmakers meant to create something of substance. That's worth something -- though ultimately not enough.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.