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Film / The Other Woman (2009)

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Love makes everything possible.
The Other Woman is a 2009 film starring Natalie Portman, Lisa Kudrow, Lauren Ambrose, and Scott Cohen, based on the novel Love and Other Impossible Pursuits (which is also the film's title in the UK). Natalie Portman plays Emilia, a woman who falls in love with Jack Woolf (Scott Cohen), a high-powered attorney at the firm at which she's working.

In short order, she and Jack start an affair which ends with Jack leaving his wife, Dr. Carolyn Soule (Lisa Kudrow), for her. Emilia and Jack's marriage is complicated by her difficulty in relating to her new stepson, William; frequent conflicts with Dr. Soule, and the spectre of the death of Isabel, Emilia and Jack's baby who died three days after her birth.

Not to be confused with the 2014 comedy with Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann, if that's possible (or the several other movies with that title).


This film exhibits the following tropes:

  • Ambiguous Disorder: William is emotionally distant and obsessed with facts, but this might be his way of coping with the breakup of his parents, as well as the great pressure his mother puts on him to excel academically.
  • Babies Ever After: Subverted. The Beta Couple of Dr. Soule and her new paramour have a child at the end, but Emilia and Jack seem content with William and the memory of Isabel.
  • Big Applesauce: The film is set in New York, with Central Park serving as a backdrop several times.
  • Divorce Is Temporary: The film plays with this. Emilia's parents get back together again. It's hinted that Emilia and Jack get back together again by the end of the movie. Jack and Dr. Soule don't, much to William's consternation near the end of the movie.
  • Guilt Complex: Emilia thinks that she killed Isabel. What Emilia sees and hears from others only seems to convince her of the truth of it and it nearly results in her losing everybody. She didn't.
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  • The Mistress: Emilia plays the eponymous role. She has an affair with Jack, who's married. After becoming pregant with their baby, Jack divorces his wife and marries Emilia.