The Other Woman

2011

The Other Woman

Critics Consensus

Natalie Portman and Lisa Kudrow deliver fine performances in The Other Woman, but they're muted by Don Roos' clumsy direction and cluttered, melodramatic script.

38%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 45

45%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 15,106
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Movie Info

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... -- (C) IFC Films

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Critic Reviews for The Other Woman

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (28)

Audience Reviews for The Other Woman

  • Aug 05, 2015
    The movie is interesting, well acted and realistic. That makes it a better-than-average movie.
    Red L Super Reviewer
  • Jun 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 <i>No Strings Attached</i>; I didn't even waste my time on <i>Your Highness</i>. 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.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • May 04, 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?
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 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.
    Alice S Super Reviewer

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