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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

The Other Woman

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service


Kate Upton, left, Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann star in a scene from the movie "The Other Woman."
When a screenwriter's armory of jokes is so depleted that a large dog having a very visible accident qualifies as a sight gag, moviegoers of taste will want to steer clear. And so they should in the case of the crass comedy "The Other Woman" (Fox).

Director Nick Cassavetes' mostly pedestrian ensemble piece is a tale of revenge directed against philandering husband—and conniving New York businessman—Mark King (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). When Mark's unsuspecting mistress, hard-bitten lawyer Carly (Cameron Diaz), discovers the existence of his equally unwitting but more fragile wife, Kate (Leslie Mann), their shared outrage forms the basis for an unlikely friendship.

The circle of hard-done-by womanhood is further extended when Carly and Kate begin spying on Mark and discover that he has another paramour stashed away in the Hamptons, a goodhearted but not overly intelligent bikini-filler by the name of Amber (Kate Upton). Unlike Carly, we learn, Amber knew Mark was married but was told that he was in the process of divorcing the supposedly unfaithful Kate.

As Carly finds fresh romance with Kate's brother, Phil (Taylor Kinney), the trio of newfound pals plots to deliver Mark his comeuppance.

Along the way to their inevitable triumph, the humor in Melissa K. Stack's script plays on a range of distasteful subjects—from intimate personal hygiene to the effect of lacing Mark's cocktail with a powerful laxative. And marital fidelity takes a hit as a result of Mark's unrelenting sleaziness and dishonesty, qualities that make Kate's readiness to jettison him all too easy to understand.

The opening scenes, which chart Mark and Kate's initial fling, also reveal some distorted underlying values. Thus the pair comes home from their first date already fumbling to undress. Mark pauses long enough to suggest that, since they've just met, they might want to talk and get to know each other before hitting the sack. But Kate's agile legal mind quickly produces a counterproposal: They can talk later.

First things first.

The film contains an adultery theme, a marital bedroom scene, an implied casual encounter, pervasive sexual and much scatological humor, a couple of uses of profanity and frequent crude and crass language. The Catholic News Service classification is L—limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13—parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

*****
John Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.



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Anthony Grassi: Anthony’s father died when his son was only 10 years old, but the young lad inherited his father’s devotion to Our Lady of Loreto. As a schoolboy he frequented the local church of the Oratorian Fathers, joining the religious order when he was 17.
<p>Already a fine student, he soon gained a reputation in his religious community as a "walking dictionary" who quickly grasped Scripture and theology. For some time he was tormented by scruples, but they reportedly left him at the very hour he celebrated his first Mass. From that day, serenity penetrated his very being.
</p><p>In 1621, at age 29, Anthony was struck by lightning while praying in the church of the Holy House at Loreto. He was carried paralyzed from the church, expecting to die. When he recovered in a few days he realized that he had been cured of acute indigestion. His scorched clothes were donated to the Loreto church as an offering of thanks for his new gift of life.
</p><p>More important, Anthony now felt that his life belonged entirely to God. Each year thereafter he made a pilgrimage to Loreto to express his thanks.
</p><p>He also began hearing confessions, and came to be regarded as an outstanding confessor. Simple and direct, he listened carefully to penitents, said a few words and gave a penance and absolution, frequently drawing on his gift of reading consciences.
</p><p>In 1635 he was elected superior of the Fermo Oratory. He was so well regarded that he was reelected every three years until his death. He was a quiet person and a gentle superior who did not know how to be severe. At the same time he kept the Oratorian constitutions literally, encouraging the community to do likewise.
</p><p>He refused social or civic commitments and instead would go out day or night to visit the sick or dying or anyone else needing his services. As he grew older, he had a God-given awareness of the future, a gift which he frequently used to warn or to console.
</p><p>But age brought its challenges as well. He suffered the humility of having to give up his physical faculties one by one. First was his preaching, necessitated after he lost his teeth. Then he could no longer hear confessions. Finally, after a fall, he was confined to his room. The archbishop himself came each day to give him holy Communion. One of Anthony’s final acts was to reconcile two fiercely quarreling brothers.</p> American Catholic Blog God of love, as I come to the end of this Advent season, my heart is ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I join with Mary in saying, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Nothing is impossible with you, O God.

 
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