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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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Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi: Mystical ecstasy is the elevation of the spirit to God in such a way that the person is aware of this union with God while both internal and external senses are detached from the sensible world. Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi was so generously given this special gift of God that she is called the "ecstatic saint." 
<p>She was born into a noble family in Florence in 1566. The normal course would have been for Catherine de' Pazzi to have married wealth and enjoyed comfort, but she chose to follow her own path. At nine she learned to meditate from the family confessor. She made her first Communion at the then-early age of 10 and made a vow of virginity one month later. When 16, she entered the Carmelite convent in Florence because she could receive Communion daily there. </p><p>Catherine had taken the name Mary Magdalene and had been a novice for a year when she became critically ill. Death seemed near so her superiors let her make her profession of vows from a cot in the chapel in a private ceremony. Immediately after, she fell into an ecstasy that lasted about two hours. This was repeated after Communion on the following 40 mornings. These ecstasies were rich experiences of union with God and contained marvelous insights into divine truths. </p><p>As a safeguard against deception and to preserve the revelations, her confessor asked Mary Magdalene to dictate her experiences to sister secretaries. Over the next six years, five large volumes were filled. The first three books record ecstasies from May of 1584 through Pentecost week the following year. This week was a preparation for a severe five-year trial. The fourth book records that trial and the fifth is a collection of letters concerning reform and renewal. Another book, <i>Admonitions</i>, is a collection of her sayings arising from her experiences in the formation of women religious. </p><p>The extraordinary was ordinary for this saint. She read the thoughts of others and predicted future events. During her lifetime, she appeared to several persons in distant places and cured a number of sick people. </p><p>It would be easy to dwell on the ecstasies and pretend that Mary Magdalene only had spiritual highs. This is far from true. It seems that God permitted her this special closeness to prepare her for the five years of desolation that followed when she experienced spiritual dryness. She was plunged into a state of darkness in which she saw nothing but what was horrible in herself and all around her. She had violent temptations and endured great physical suffering. She died in 1607 at 41, and was canonized in 1669.</p> American Catholic Blog Let us never tire, therefore, of seeking the Lord—of letting ourselves be sought by him—of tending over our relationship with him in silence and prayerful listening. Let us keep our gaze fixed on him, the center of time and history; let us make room for his presence within us.

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