Just Like A Woman (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

Just Like A Woman (2013)



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Mona, 26, an immigrant from North Africa, runs her in-laws' mini market in Chicago. She's married to Mourad, a man who can't stand up to his authoritarian mother. Mona is harassed by her mother-in-law because after five years of marriage, she hasn't be able to get pregnant, something that's considered a shame and a taboo in her culture. Marilyn, 29, is a receptionist at a computer repair company. Her marriage with Harvey is on the ropes. The only thing in her life that makes her happy is her belly dance class, a passion shared by Mona. Dancing at family gatherings lifts her spirits up and makes her forget the misery of her daily life. Marilyn shops at Mona's mini-market. They've become friends. One morning, Mona's mother-in-law is found dead in her bed. Mona realizes that she mixed the wrong dose while preparing her medicine. Realizing that she might be accused of murder, Mona runs away and flees Chicago by bus. Marilyn loses her job because of the recession. When she gets home, she finds out that her husband is cheating on her. With nothing left to lose, Mona decides to go to Santa Fe to enter a contest hoping to join a famous belly dance company. Mona and Marilyn run into each other on a rest area on the side of a highway. They decide to continue the trip together. They cross the USA, pitching their tent in trailer parks and in the middle of the desert. They earn some cash belly-dancing together in restaurants and bars. Back in Chicago, Mona is considered a fugitive she's wanted for the murder of her mother-in-law. Harvey asks the police to look for Marilyn who disappeared without leaving a trace. Will Marilyn succeed in joining the belly dance company? How long will Mona be able to keep her secret from Marilyn? And how long will she be able to escape the law?
R (for language and a scene of sexuality)
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:

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Sienna Miller
as Marilyn
Tim Guinee
as George
Roschdy Zem
as Mourad
Chafia Boudra
as Mourad's Mother
Chafia Boudraa
as Mourad's Mother
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Just Like A Woman

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (9)

Like belly-dancing itself, this drama is meant for the soul, not the mind - or as Marilyn's instructor commands, "Brains! Stop using them!"

Full Review… | July 8, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The problem with the film, directed by France's Rachid Bouchareb from a script by Joelle Touma and Marion Doussot, is that the men are mostly one-dimensional louts.

Full Review… | July 4, 2013
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
Top Critic

This well-intentioned buddy-road-trip flick lacks the danger, the drama and the sex appeal that most moviegoers will be looking for.

Full Review… | July 4, 2013
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Just like its meaningless title, Rachid Bouchareb's disappointing drama evokes better works without developing any distinct identity of its own.

Full Review… | July 4, 2013
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Bouchareb fails to turn his outsider's point of view into new insights, and instead takes the easy route, falling back on familiar stereotypes in his tour of US misogyny and xenophobia.

July 4, 2013
Boston Globe
Top Critic

It's a shame Ms. Miller has to try so hard, to grimace so much, to add emotional embellishment to compensate for a weak script.

Full Review… | July 4, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Just Like A Woman

At first glance you'd think this was about 2 very sexy women belly dancing but there's more to it than that. Sienna Miller plays a woman named Marilyn who's interested in belly dancing. After being fired from her job and discovering that her husband is cheating on her, she leaves with her friend Mona to go to Santa Fe to audition for a dance company. Mona is a North African immigrant who leaves her family after accidentally poisoning her mother-in-law. Marilyn is unaware of this at first. Together they drive from Chicago to Santa Fe and have a series of adventures. It reminded me a little bit like the movie Thelma and Louise but with a happy ending.

King Lam
King Lam

Twenty-three years ago (gulp!) two new names were engraved upon the minds/psyches of American theater audiences across the country that would never be forgotten. Those two names: Thelma and Louise. The only real similarity between T&L and Just Like a Woman is that the story features two women driving cross country in a convertible as they try to outrun a mistake they do not know how to rectify. T&L is a modern classic ... and should be seen. Just Like a Woman is not a classic nor will it ever be one ... and it isn't one I would be overly keen to recommend either as I doubt either woman will be nominated for an Oscar like both Thelma and Louise were! Sienna Miller (Factory Girl, Layer Cake) stars as Marilyn, a woman who decides to finally give in to temptation and enter a belly dance contest ... after she is let go from her job in Chicago and has to no longer be responsible-yet-unhappy. Before even leaving the city, Marilyn finds herself in the company of Mona -- a meek North African immigrant she is acquainted with - who needs to get out of the city. The two ladies come from different backgrounds but their common bonds and womanhood bring them closer together. As Mona's past begins to catch up with them, can their new friendship endure and will Marilyn's dream remain unattainable? The film is hokey and melodramatic but I didn't hate it when I watched it even though it was quite predictable ... although I will spoil the ending: there is no cliff!!

Thomas Williams
Thomas Williams

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