What would you do if you found out your wife is cheating on you? This is such a universal and polarizing subject that you’ll hardly find a man or a woman who hasn’t thought about it. The Other Man is a movie examining what happens when you find out your wife was having an affair. Featuring an excellent cast, a beautiful setting, and an intelligent script, it’s one of those slow-burning but still fascinating dramas. Sure, it could’ve been better as the tensions never rise to the level you expect them to and the storytelling is a bit messy. But I was too busy thinking about the main story and its implications on my own life to give them much room.
Men and emotions, am I right or am I right? We, men, have a lot of difficulties with processing our emotions. Especially when they’re related to our sense of self and how both ourselves and others perceive our personality. Unlike in other movies about cheating husbands and wives like Unfaithful, here we will be focusing on this chess game between Liam and the lover. The Other Man never decided what it wanted to do with this chess game, just going through the motions and hoping something will happen. This is why I recommend it for one viewing only.
Of course, you have to be in the right mood for a movie about adultery. And this is not your usual, Hollywood, treatment of this subject. They tried to dig a bit deeper while simultaneously offering the viewer a relatively compelling narrative. And they almost pulled it off. Luckily, the cast, led by magnificent Liam Neeson, did a terrific job of making this story feel as impactful and realistic as they could. As you can guess, Antonio Banderas was the eponymous The Other Man, a passionate and good-looking Ralph.
It’s funny to think that I mentioned Banderas while talking about Vicky Christina Barcelona, another 2008 romantic movie. However, he lost that role to Javier Bardem. And that Neeson also plays a similar character but with a whole different type of mission in Taken. I also want to say that I have nothing against Laura Linney but I think that Juliette Binoche, who was originally cast as Lisa would be a much better fit.
Lisa and Peter have been in love and married for almost 25 years. Those years have been wonderful and both of them cherished every moment of their relationship. However, when Peter accidentally sees a weird email, that past will soon start to look different. Determined to get to the bottom of this, Peter is now a man on a mission. A mission to find out did his wife cheat on him and if she did, who was this other man.
Of course, the other man was a hot and passionate Spanish guy living in Italy, come on Peter! You’re in IT, he’s in your wife, what’s not connecting here? As someone who also works in IT, I completely understand you, Pete. Joking aside, The Other Man is one of those movies about cheating where you can literally make your own movie in your head using its story as a basis. I’m not saying that’s something you should do, I’m saying that’s something you could do.
And finally, if I may offer some words of wisdom when it comes to cheating and relationships. I went through a couple of stages when it comes to this subject and I feel that now I have the right perspective. And I’ll get straight to the point if my wife cheated on me, I would forgive her and move on. Life is so much more complex than these simplistic concepts brought into our perception of love and marriage by religion. The most important thing is to talk this over honestly.
The reasons why she cheated are very important and if they were the signal that something is not working and it looks like we’re not a good fit after all, then it’s time to say goodbye. If, however, she was just bored, swept off her feet, or decided to live a little, who could blame her? Ce la vie as they say.
Director: Richard Eyre
Writers: Richard Eyre, Charles Wood, Bernhard Schlink
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Liam Neeson, Abigail Canton, Laura Linney
Fun Facts: The movie was a box office bomb making just over $1 million on a $15 million budget.