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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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Apollonia: The persecution of Christians began in Alexandria during the reign of the Emperor Philip. The first victim of the pagan mob was an old man named Metrius, who was tortured and then stoned to death. The second person who refused to worship their false idols was a Christian woman named Quinta. Her words infuriated the mob and she was scourged and stoned. 
<p>While most of the Christians were fleeing the city, abandoning all their worldly possessions, an old deaconess, Apollonia, was seized. The crowds beat her, knocking out all of her teeth. Then they lit a large fire and threatened to throw her in it if she did not curse her God. She begged them to wait a moment, acting as if she was considering their requests. Instead, she jumped willingly into the flames and so suffered martyrdom.</p><p>There were many churches and altars dedicated to her. Apollonia is the patroness of dentists, and people suffering from toothache and other dental diseases often ask her intercession. She is pictured with a pair of pincers holding a tooth or with a golden tooth suspended from her necklace. St. Augustine explained her voluntary martyrdom as a special inspiration of the Holy Spirit, since no one is allowed to cause his or her own death.</p> American Catholic Blog We can find Christ among the despised, voiceless, and forgotten of the world. We have to move beyond that which we wish to ignore and forget about: embrace the seemingly un-embraceable, love the unlovable, and dare to know what we most fear and wish to leave unknowable.

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