The Other Woman - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Other Woman Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ August 5, 2015
The movie is interesting, well acted and realistic. That makes it a better-than-average movie.
Super Reviewer
February 3, 2011
It would have been easy to make a melodrama with this subject and the sort of unexpected revelation that comes up in the third act, but Roos avoids that and delivers this emotionally complex film devoid of villains and lifted by two excellent performances by Natalie Portman and Lisa Kudrow.
Super Reviewer
½ June 13, 2013
A new wife struggles to find her place in the husband/wife/son-from-a-previous-marriage dynamic as she mourns the death of her newborn.
Natalie Portman was once one of film's rising stars, but now she chooses some of the worst projects, and this one is even worse than No Strings Attached; I didn't even waste my time on Your Highness. The film front-loads a ton of exposition, and then the rest of the film is spent with characters spouting bullshit pop psychology at and about Emilia. She becomes the project of the film -- characters trying to figure her out -- but she's never an interesting character. The third act's engine is a suspicion about the child's death, and this plot line comes out of the walls, but by the time this film pulls that shit out its ass, I ceased believing that I would ever start caring about these characters.
Overall, Natalie Portman's career choices were so much better at the beginning.
Super Reviewer
August 24, 2011
Ok so... critics hated this, I liked it a lot. Critics loved Black, not so much. Go figure. In my opinion, this is a great movie about real life situations, and about how messy our lives can really be. Natalie Portman was wonderful, as usual. The entire cast was exceptional, and the script was very moving. What was not to like? I have no idea....
Super Reviewer
December 27, 2010
"The film is well acted. I was so happy to see Lisa Kudrow in this. Her sassy roughness in this film just proves to those who doubt her that she can indeed act. She is not just that silly blonde from Friends. Natalie Portman plays her part well too. Her portrayal of grief was raw and honest. The overwhelming anger she felt. I felt her grief. It's definitely not your typical romance flick. It's a bit heavy on the dark side. Anyone who has had this kind of loss will find this movie emotionally difficult. It's definitely not easy to watch. I think Portman and Kudrow did amazing and I will be seeing this again."
Super Reviewer
March 24, 2012
Very well-paced melodrama in that everything happens when it needs to for optimal emotional impact. This film reminds me of Like Dandelion Dust - predictable and manipulative but not without some really good scenes. At first, all the characters are types - the upstanding husband (Scott Cohen from The 10th Kingdom HOOOWWWWLLL!!!), the bitchy ex-wife (a surprisingly icy Lisa Kudrow), the precocious, bratty stepson, and the other woman cum new wife who carries the burden of not measuring up.

I can't quite put a finger on Emilia's character. She's supposed to be kinda young or punky or sarcastic, but I don't think NaPo quite hits those points. The best scene is compliments of Lisa Kudrow (the other half of Romy & Michele, coincidental in that Mira Sorvino is the one who gives the best scene in Dandelion) when Carolyn gives medical evidence to Emilia, absolving her of her baby's death. Her delivery is cold, almost begrudging, but ultimately kind.
Super Reviewer
February 6, 2011
This film is based on a book called Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, and it started out with that title, but was for whatever reason changed to the more bland one it is now known by. They should have kept the original title. It's much snappier and memorable.

The story concerns a Harvard Law graduate named Emilia who begins with a relationship with her married boss Jack that results in her getting pregnant. After a swift divorce and a swift marriage, their daughter is born, only to tragically die three days later. Waht follows from there is Emilia's attempts to deal with her grief, as well as trying to win over her difficult and resentful stepson William and fend off Jack jealous and bitter ex-wife Carolyn.

Not the most unique story in the world, but it works...mostly. The film has some really good performances (albeit some occasional inconsistencies) but is dragged down by the fact that tonally it is all over the map, and isn't completely successful at coming together by the end. Had the tone been more consistent, and the jumps from romantic comedy to heartwrenching drama not been so jarring, I think I could have gotten more into things. It's not a bad movie, just one that's a little shy from hitting the mark.

There are some nice moments, and the film starts off on the right foot by opening to what just so happens to be my favorite song by the Flaming Lips, but from there kinda fumbles, mostly because it likes to jump around with flashbacks, which probably worked better in the book, but not so much here. Like I said though, the performances are mostly pretty good, and Natalie Portman has a tough role, but she mostly ges through it. She does well with playing cold and distant, but she's not as good at hitting the warmer moments. Lisa Kudrow is quite nice though as Carolyn, and it made me happy to see Lauren Ambrose and Anthony Rapp show up in small supporting roles.

All in all, it's okay. It has it's moments, but I think it should have not tried to be both a somber drama and a lighter romance film. That sort of thing can work, but it just seemed too clashing the way it was done here. You can see this if you want, but it's okay if you don't. The cast have put in terrific work elsewhere so if you miss this you can still see them impress in those other films.
Super Reviewer
October 31, 2011
I have to say this film missed the mark for me. Although the performances of both Portman and Kudrow were superb, not exempting Cohen who also delivered well, no level of acting ability or scripting skills could have made these characters likable. Hard to relate to, this film takes you to the edge of sadness but pulls you away before you can get to involved. Without a final climax of breaking down or breaking up, this film left me feeling tense and frustrated at the potential of such a brilliant story line not being portrayed cohesively enough on screen. A worthwhile film, that unfortunatley left one too many strings untied. Acceptable, but definitely a one watch wonder.
Super Reviewer
February 5, 2011
Definitely not the light romantic comedy I was expecting from the cover! (The cover we had here in Australia, that is... also, over here the film was titled "Love and other impossible pursuits", which sounds more of a feel-good than this title... this is definitely the more fitting one for the movie).
Natalie is very good here. She plays Emilia, a woman who falls in love with a married man at work, a bit older than her who has a young son. When Emilia finds out she is pregnant, Jack leaves his wife, Carolyn, (Lisa Kudrow - playing one of the bitter women she does so well!), for her and they get married. Emilia's own child dies at only four days old and the movie mainly deals with her grief, the strained relationships she has with Jack and her stepson and Carolyn's resentment. It is definitely not a nice little chick flick to chuck on for a bit of light amusement!
I enjoyed this (if enjoy was the right word), but I certainly can't see myself wanting to sit there and watch it again anytime soon. Even though I am not overly sentimental about babies and kids (i can imagine this would be a regular weep fest for a lot of people!), I still found this sad and quite moving.
The small fault is that Natalie looks a little too young for the role (even though she is a married mother herself in real life), I guess she can't help being young faced!
Super Reviewer
December 27, 2010
I wish I had reviewed this sooner. There were various things that seemed interesting when watching the film, but now I'll be damned if I remember what they were... Overall, is it profound? No, but it at least dabbles in thought and conflict. A lot of the film revolves around what defines family. It is an interesting line of thought, especially when you consider divorce, step-siblings, etc. However, the conclusion here comes out a bit cheesy. Essentially what we're left with is an oversimplified, even a bit cliched, idea that those-you-love-are-your-family. I guess, I can agree with that, but somehow it just doesn't seem that relevant when presented with the cheery bravado of a greeting card. Another theme throughout the film was grief. I really liked the way it was explored. Can we control our grief and sorrow? It certainly doesn't feel like a personal choice, but at the same time, it's rather empowering to think that it is something that can be controlled. Idk, overall, I enjoyed the film. It does what it does and does it well enough. It's a fine enough film to pass the time.
Super Reviewer
May 27, 2011
Don Roos' film "Happy Endings" is one of my favorite films. I keep viewing his work hoping that someday he will recreate the fun, the depth and the nuance of that earlier film. Unfortunately this has not yet happened. "The Other Woman," starring Natalie Portman as a frank, grieving stepmother is emotionally schizophrenic and loosely plotted. There seems to be no real rhythm to the pattern of flashbacks or emotional reveals. The films construction is distractingly haphazard. Portman is trying to navigate the tricky waters that need to be human, darkly comic, and emotional but she alone cannot steer this ship. The one saving grace is Lisa Kudrow, who is a Roos staple, and is continually surprising as a dramatic actress. Her volcanic ex-wife is the best part. Also look for a nice performance from Charlie Tahan (who was great in the inept "Charlie St. Cloud"). "The Other Woman" is an aimless, confused picture with very few redeeming qualities.
Super Reviewer
April 18, 2011
It was a good movie with some controversial material meaning that it was meant to be a depressing film and have a normal story and not a great one. You can't expect alot from this film since Natalie Portman doesn't have alot of help on this one and still her character in her role is tranquile and soft which you can't observe on the naked eye her true talents as an actress.

Aspiring Lawyer Emilia Greenleaf (Natalie Portman) thought she knew what she wanted when she went after the sexy, married Senior Partner, Jack Woolf (Scott Cohen) . However, she didn't count on getting pregnant and married, and she certainly didn't plan on having to forge a relationship with her highly strung 5 year old stepson, William..
Super Reviewer
½ February 5, 2011
"The Other Woman" is one of the most dramatic, emotional films I've seen since last year's "Rabbit Hole". With a plot almost similar, the two movie's have plenty of differences. This film makes me appreciate all my stepmother has done for me in the past, and it makes me very guilty for the way I've treated her as well. With a script that complicates the bonds between a stepmother and stepson, "The Other Woman" stands as the best film of 2011 thus far.

The film may seem like it has a little storyline, simple enough, but it grasps enough backround of all of the characters to make it a bit more complex. The movie works in a line of switching between past moments and present moments showing us how the characters got to the point where they are. Meet Emelia, she's married to Jack, a divorced man with an eight-year old son, William. William is just as complicated as Jack's annoying ex-wife Carolyne and Emelia does all she can to win the affection of William, even though it always turns out bad. With that complicated situation in Emelia's life, she also faces a recent trajedy, the death of her and Jack's newborn baby Isabel, who only lived for three days. With a struggle to find love from William, it only complicates Emelia and Jack's relationship more and she soon finds herself alone in her emotions.

Natalie Portman does it again! Her performance as Emelia is just as fantastic as her latest performance was in "Black Swan", if not better. In the past two months, Portman has released three different films, "Black Swan", "No Strings Attached", and this. She never seems to disappoint in any performance and there is no differance here. This is why Portman stands as one of the best actresses' of our time. Yes, I stand by that statement. Portman's character, Emelia, is as real as they come. Emelia's broken, but watching her trying to stand strong through the entire movie is heartbreaking. "The Other Woman" is a film in which actually does a great job with the crafting of each charac ter, all having a point, all having a situation they can't seem to solve.Lisa Kudrow ("Friends") plays a role unlike her usual genre. Normally playing the goofy, obnoxious type here she plays Carolyne, while still obnoxious but very serious about everything as well. Before seeing the movie I never imagined Kudrow to do as well as she did and I'm happy she proved me wrong. Charlie Tahan, playing eight-year old William reminded me of the kid from "The Switch" in every scene he was in. His bright, know-it-all character with Portman's character was great and their chemistry was fantastic. Scott Cohen as Jack, Emelia's husband, also gives a solid performance. I'm not too familar with anything he's done from the past, but, I'd like to see him do more in the future.

Don Roos wrote and directed this film based off the novel by Ayelet Waldman. With a story that seems simple, Roos crafts it into something much more complicated than it could have been, which makes it much more marvellous. His skill with the dialog between Emelia and William is great and his mellow-dramatic scenes can be breath-taking. As for the direction, I loved Roos' shots of the city. His zoom-in shots were perfect and I loved his idea of having one scene in particular in split-screen using one frame for the past, present, and future. It made it all the more emotional and realistic. If your interested in other works from Don Roos, he directed 2005's "Happy Endings" and wrote 2008's "Marley and Me".

The film does a great job balancing humor with drama. It places dry-humor when most needed especially in the scenes between William and Emelia. While their scenes can sometimes be over-dramatic, they can also be hilarious, as well. I loved Emelia's sarcastic-wit to most of William's comments, being hilarious each time.

It normally takes alot for me to learn something from a movie. A lesson, I mean. Having growing up with a stepmother myself, "The Other Woman" did a fine job making me feel guility for the ways I treated mine growing up. My family didn't have the complications of getting through a newborn's death, but, like William, I'd do all I could to get my stepmother in trouble with my father and never care at all. Before watching this movie I'd never think it'd take a toll on my childhood and had me thinking of something I'd never think I'd care about today.

Overall, "The Other Woman" is a fantastic little movie that stands as the best film of 2011 thus far. It's fantastic script brings out the best of each actor in the film making it feel more real. This is a movie that doesn't deserve to be looked away from and it not getting a wide-release is a mistake because I know it could have sucedded more. It sure deserved it.
Super Reviewer
½ May 4, 2012
In "The Other Woman," Emilia Greenleaf(Natalie Portman) is a newly hired lawyer, fresh out of law school. However, she soon gets sidetracked when she begins an affair with Jack Woolf(Scott Cohen), a senior partner at the firm. That eventually turns into marriage where Emilia gets to share custody of William(Charles Tahan), Jack's precocious ten-year old son from a previous marriage, with his first wife Carolyn(Lisa Kudrow), through her proxy/nanny Sonia(Mona Lerche). At least, William tries to be helpful by suggesting the selling of unneeded possessions on eBay.

On the surface, there is no reason why "The Other Woman" should not work. It has a good leading performance from Natalie Portman, a different point of view and some interesting thoughts about family. Sadly, a lot of that is undone by an odd story structure that renders the movie narratively inert by suggesting that the characters have already lived through their most important moments, with nothing left for them but going through the motions, like the movie. And then there is the unseemly feeling that Emilia might be just working out her daddy issues in her relationship with Jack while not exploring her giving up the law and her career. Yes, it is nice that the movie is not interested at all in dispensing blame, wisely suggesting in fact that we would all be better off in being less judgmental. But can I still blame Lisa Kudrow for her shrill performance which puts the movie unevenly in Emilia's favor?
Super Reviewer
November 20, 2011
Natalie Portman's performance is the best reason to see this film. She gives another great performance. I don't understand why the studio didn't do a better job of promoting the film when it came out. It should have come out in November or December for Oscar consideration but it came out in February. Charlie Tahan was also really good in this film. I definitely recommend this film.
Super Reviewer
October 7, 2011
Though post-production wrapped in 2009, the movie was shelved until 2011, probably due to star Natalie Portman's victory as Best Actress for the 2011 Academy Awards for her internationally praised performance in the 2010 film Black Swan. And, I have to say, this movie IS Portman! Without her the review would be negative! I enjoyed her performance and the ease she performed very complicated character of Emilia Greenleaf's who's life is turned upside down when she gets pregnant with a married man's baby... After a quick divorce and a quick wedding, it is revealed through a series of flashbacks that her baby girl died of SIDS. Subject which is not easy to cover but they somehow made it in this movie!
Ryan M
Super Reviewer
June 2, 2011

If you plan on watching "The Other Woman"- and there's really no reason to why you should want to- prepare yourself. The film features a lot of crying and shouting; both done, in excess, by the film's star; Natalie Portman. I suppose if you want a melodrama, then by god, you've got one.

However, that's far from my personal recommendation. "The Other Woman" tries ever-so-hard to be a good movie, and deep down, it doesn't offend and it doesn't mean to hurt anybody. It's not particularly insulting to my intelligence, and it's far from the worst of melodramas, but if I see another one of these boring, excessive pictures, I'm going to have to sail far, far away from such dramatic territories.

I wouldn't have a problem with the story if it didn't feel so darned dry...and bleak...and boring. The film centers on a woman, Emilia (Portman), her relationship with a then-married-man (Scott Cohen), and her relationship with this man's son (Charlie Tahan). Emilia is having much trouble getting over the loss of a recent child; whose cause of death I shall not spoil.

Unfortunately, this film doesn't care much for human relations. Portman's character tries to connect better with the kid, in spite of the fact that the Emilia is a mean, profane, disgusting mother-figure; and the kid is one of those generic wise-ass youngsters.

You see, drama needs sympathy; and I can't feel sympathy for these characters. Casual movie-goers might do more than TRY to feel the pain that Amelia is going through, but it's hard to care when the film itself is so uninvolving. The script isn't smart, intoxicating, or interesting. The story I could care less about. The direction is uninspired and mediocre. Simply put, this is not a well-made film; and it's not a stupid one either, but it's most certainly bad none the less.

And I hate to say this too. I don't hate "The Other Woman", but it bored me. There was nothing to follow, nothing to care about, and no reason to invest. The film doesn't care how it's shot, how it's told, how it's directed, or how good it actually is. This bothers me, and it will bother anyone who at least appreciates essential decency in cinema. The only thing I can truly say for "The Other Woman" is that it wasn't god-awful, it didn't insult me, and I wouldn't call it "unpleasant". But pleasant...that's a word for another day.

And then there's Portman. Look, I like Natalie Portman. Hell, I loved her in "Black Swan"; which has landed her plenty of Hollywood roles recently, and none of them have seemed to truly pay off. I suppose it's my duty to base Portman's performance, as an actress, based on her character and craft, also as an actress. This is what I'll do here. Sadly, Portman is just decent in this role. I wouldn't call the performance note-worthy, and I wouldn't call it trashy. I just despise the character that Portman is playing, but this has happened before with the actress, and sadly, it shall happen again.

Look; "The Other Woman" may appeal to some people, and as I said, casual movie-goers might like it for the drama that it is. But I've seen movies like this one; and I've had enough. "The Other Woman" is a sad, pathetic, and almost effortless attempt at realistic drama. It fails in just about every way, and lacks the ability to be even mediocre. Maybe it gets close, but alas, no dice. I'd say it's almost indefinitely worth a miss, because there's nothing that can possibly be worth seeing here. I won't call the film disappointing, because I didn't have high hopes to begin with, but "The Other Woman" still needs to feel, you know, more fulfilling. Too bad it does not.
Angel G.
Super Reviewer
½ April 13, 2011
Well casted love story, with fine performances by Natalie Portman and Lisa Kudrow, also with family drama, prevents the most closes clichès, but truly a great love story, with a perfect lead.
Super Reviewer
January 13, 2011
Dramatic and intense, it shows us the grief of a woman who has just lost her baby and is trying to win her stepson love.

Natalie Portman is great as always, she never disappoints in any role she takes part on.

It's depressing, but it all ends well at the end.
Super Reviewer
½ May 22, 2011
Natalie Portman and Lisa Kudrow are very good, but the melodrama becomes less and less bearable or believable as it progresses.
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