No Other Woman has been showing in theaters for two weeks before I finally got to see it to fully get to the bottom of what the fuss has been about. Early reviews of this movie have pegged it as one of the most provoking movies of the year while most friends who have seen it have lauded the acting of lead stars Anne Curtis and Cristine Reyes who play the “mistress” and the wife fighting over the man of the hour Derek Ramsey. But of course, I needed to see it too, to get my two cents in.
Long story short, the film deals with a young couple Ram and Charmaine (Ramsey and Reyes), who live comfortably off the support of the wife’s noveau rich family. Ram, a designer who runs a business selling high end furniture, wants to prove himself to his in laws and his own family, particularly his deadbeat dad, but finds it difficult as he is suffocated by his in laws “gifts.” Kara (Curtis), on the other hand is an independent and liberated heiress who wants only to have fun and live free without any attachments, either to her family or the men that she gets romantically involved in. Their paths meet when Ram enters into business with the resort owned by Kara’s dad and they click, after learning that they both have daddy issues and that they are both open to a no strings attached relationship. Of course, trouble brews when the wife begins to grow suspicious of their treachery and the mistress starts to get clingy after falling for the guy.
The Star Cinema/ Viva production is very pretty basic so there’s really nothing that hasn’t been done before. The film employs a pretty formulaic strategy prevalent in most mainstream movies that give audiences what they want — in this case three hot young stars with immensely great acting potential. The story is not rocket science but it is relateable to most audiences, and it is realistic so this is where its strength lies. However, its strength also became its greatest weakness as the movie succumbed to the trap of taking itself too seriously and focusing too much on the drama that it kind of got boring towards the middle, when the affair was taking place, rather than achieving the opposite effect. The film’s love scenes, instead of being romantic seemed like an excuse to show off how fit and fabulous the three lead actors are and the drawn out scenes of Curtis in body hugging minis and long and bouncy hair looked like a walking advertisement of the hair product she is endorsing. My greatest complaint may perhaps be the movie’s ending, which did not seem justified, all in order to have a resolution. While there was closure, I would have preferred more suffering or tragedy just to get the point home that karma catches up with those who play with fire. And there were also some plotlines opened (about family) that seemed to have been forgotten. Go figure.
To the film’s credit, the cast deserves much credit for this well made movie. Anne Curtis was a revelation in this film as she showed off acting chops which have been left dormant for some time after playing cutesy roles in recent romantic comedies. Cristine Reyes, who in my opinion is a so-so starlet, also stepped up to the challenge, trading barbs with Anne smoothly in their many face off scenes. The dialogue was not overly deep, but it does have its moments, especially on the exchanges of loaded dialogues and double entrendes. In all fairness, its highlights were done justice by the stars and their strong support cast. Derek is a good actor but despite being one of the leads here, he clearly took a back seat to his female co-stars. Carmi Martin, who plays Sharmaine’s mother, was like a breath of fresh air, lightening the mood of the movie with her funny dialogue but still illustrating differences of how wives were before and now. I would have wanted her to appear in more scenes but alas, I was disappointed.
All in all, No Other Woman is a good movie. Not original. Not great, but good. Good in the sense that it is well executed, well written, well acted and well directed. It succeeded in giving the audience what it wanted and delivered a movie that presents a scenario about the imperfections of marriage. And in a weird way, it does have a moral lesson, I guess, even though I would have preferred a different resolution.
PS. Before I forget, a great kudos to the set designers for the great set and the scenic locations. I got a ton of great ideas for interior design and color schemes from the movie.