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Conversations With Other Women (R)

Release Date: August 11th, 2006 (Landmark Sunshine Cinemas) by Fabrication Films.
The Cast: Helena Bonham Carter, Aaron Eckhart, Thomas Lennon, Cerina Vincent, Philip Littell, Brianna Brown, Brian Geraghty.
Directed by Hans Canosa.

BASIC PREMISE: A man (Eckhart) and a woman (Carter) meet at a wedding party which initiates long night talking and flirting.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Conversations With Other Women takes the simple concept of a man and a woman talking during an entire night while revealing more and more about their past. In the opening scene, the screen is split in half in a way and remains like that for the rest of the film—well, with one or two exceptions. This visual effect takes time getting used to, although it’s not nearly as distracting as in Timecode split the screen into four parts. It’s like watching one movie with two different perspectives, so you get more out of it. The unnamed man and woman engage in small chit-chat at the party and their chemistry gradually builds up. As they leave the party, they head up the elevator but don’t call it a night quite so fast. Yes, they do have sex on screen with brief nudity, but director Hans Conasa does a good job of keeping it romantic and sensual rather than pornographic. What makes this film so surprisingly engaging is precisely the smart, interesting, natural dialogue between the two which gradually builds up tension and even drama. Unlike in the recent Jailbait, which also had a minimalist plot with only two characters, the script, expertly written by Gabrielle Zevin, actually reveals different aspects of the characters which makes them more lively, complex and real. You actually want to get to know them and be friends with them because they’re both funny and witty, especially the woman. What also makes this film work is that Aaron Eckhart and Helena Bonham Carter have plenty of chemistry together—they know how to play off of each other like well-rehearsed thespians on stage. By the last scene, you’ll wish you could spend more time with them as if you were your friends.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Both the man and the woman talk a lot, but the question is, do they actually say anything? Fortunately, they do discuss interesting topics ranging from love to sex and infidelity—they talk about life, especially experiences from their past which they have learned from and matured from to some degree, yet they still seem to act like teenagers concurrently.



IN A NUTSHELL: Smart, absorbing and insightful. A delightful cross between Before Sunrise and My Dinner With Andre.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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