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Parents' Guide to

The Other Woman

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Slow-moving but mature drama looks at aftermath of affair.

Movie R 2011 119 minutes
The Other Woman Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+


Sort of a drama but well done.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much swearing
age 15+

well above average drama.

2.5/5 Natalie Portman (BLACK SWAN, STAR WARS) lights up the screen in this frank, funny, and heart-wrenching adaptation of bestselling author Ayelet Waldman's novel about life, loss, and family, "LOVE AND OTHER IMPOSSIBLE PURSUITS." Emilia (Portman) is a Harvard law school graduate and a newlywed, having just married Jack (Scott Cohen, THE UNDERSTUDY), a high-powered New York lawyer, who was her boss - and married - when she began working at his law firm. Unfortunately, her life takes an unexpected turn when Jack and Emilia lose their newborn daughter. Emilia struggles through her grief to connect with her new stepson William (Charlie Tahan, I AM LEGEND), while also trying to overcome a long-standing rift in her relationship with her father caused by his own infidelity. But perhaps the most difficult obstacle of all for Emilia is trying to cope with the constant interferences of her husband's angry, jealous ex-wife, Carolyn (Lisa Kudrow, FRIENDS, ANALYZE THIS). Ultimately, Emilia's and Charlie's playful and sometimes tender exchanges help Emilia to open her heart. Can Emilia rediscover her own capacity for love in time to salvage her failing marriage, mend fences with her parents and build a family from the wreckage? Directed by Don Roos (THE OPPOSITE OF SEX) from his own screenplay, this tearful, terrific tale proves that even with a pursuit like love, nothing is impossible. i am not calling it one of the best movies of the year or best movie of Natalie's career but it is something. i liked the very emotional and touching feeling of this movie, what fails in this movie is the direction, writing and the way characters have been handled. watching the trailer really made me feel like it is not original stuff and it seems pretty cliched so the only reason i saw this movie was because of Nina oops i mean Natalie Portman. wow this girl needs some rest, after her Black swan phenomenon she has been in so many movies like No string Attached, The Other Woman, Hesher, Thor and Your Highness. this is a very dramatic and emotional role for her and she did it well one of her best performance as always. movie uses past life of the characters to make us connect to what is happening now with them, that is done good. Character development is okay but they seem all over the place, annoying and pretty messed up. that is very loud everywhere but towards the end they have been shown well. movie instantly shows us where it is heading and what exactly it is aiming for. the stepmother stepson thing is shown very good in it, i liked it. Natalie Portman (Emilia) is the Stepmother of William played by Charlie Tahan, she is married to Jack Played by Scott Cohen his first wife is Carolyn played by Lisa Kudrow. Emilia has lost a baby with Jack and she is shown very upset about her and at the same time she is trying to make a good relation with William and st the same time dealing with the really psycho angry Carolyn. story was good i liked it. Screenplay was weak at some places but not pretty bad overall. Natalie did and excellent job portraying this character, i really liked her in this. she does those crying breakdown scenes so well. Lisa did a good job too, a FRIENDS fan like me was shocked to see her like this. others were okay. directed by Don Ross, i was not fully satisfied with the direction, needs some work. cinematography was good, i love New York. overall the movie felt really emotional and dramatic to me, it does not always feels like its doing Justice but still you will like it somehow. movie feels flat at some places and the characters and situations might really annoy you, many of you will not find it original but there is certain amount of originality in it. MILDLY recommended.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

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.

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