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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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Hilary of Arles: It’s been said that youth is wasted on the young. In some ways, that was true for today’s saint. 
<p>Born in France in the early fifth century, Hilary came from an aristocratic family. In the course of his education he encountered his relative, Honoratus, who encouraged the young man to join him in the monastic life. Hilary did so. He continued to follow in the footsteps of Honoratus as bishop. Hilary was only 29 when he was chosen bishop of Arles. </p><p>The new, youthful bishop undertook the role with confidence. He did manual labor to earn money for the poor. He sold sacred vessels to ransom captives. He became a magnificent orator. He traveled everywhere on foot, always wearing simple clothing. </p><p>That was the bright side. Hilary encountered difficulty in his relationships with other bishops over whom he had some jurisdiction. He unilaterally deposed one bishop. He selected another bishop to replace one who was very ill–but, to complicate matters, did not die! Pope St. Leo the Great kept Hilary a bishop but stripped him of some of his powers. </p><p>Hilary died at 49. He was a man of talent and piety who, in due time, had learned how to be a bishop.</p> American Catholic Blog True freedom lies in the ability to align one’s actions freely with the truth, so as to achieve authentic human happiness both now and in the life to come. Jesus promised, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31–32).

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