Conversations with Other Women ***
"Conversations with Other Women" is built around a method of storytelling. For the entire duration of the film, we are presented with a split screen, that show the same image sometimes from different angles, or even different scenes from different time periods. The reason why they had to find an unusual method to tell the story was because there is nothing here that we couldn't find in "Before Sunset." Two people, who haven't seen each other in some time, talking for an 82 minute running time, revealing secrets, getting to know one another, and then parting ways, the question being if they will see and speak to each other again in the near future. I have a few problems with it, but at the end, I wanted to see more of these characters, and to watch them continue to talk on and on and on for the rest of the night.
It begins at a wedding. We meet the man and the woman, as the man approaches the woman who is sitting at a table, and the two begin an epic night of conversation, sex, and memories. She is married to a heart doctor, living in London with his three children, and he is a lawyer living in America, dating a twenty-three year old dancer. What begins as an appeared flirtation delves into something more, as they go from the table, to the dance floor, and then back upstairs to her hotel room. The whole time, their histories begin to unravel, and it turns out that what looks like a one night fling is something much more.
The plot is short, because there really isn't that much to describe, and I wouldn't want to ruin anything. "Conversations with Other Women" works best when you don't know what secret is going to come next. By the end, you know alot about these two character, but you really don't know much at all. They do, and that is what is important. The style of the film takes some getting used to, but after a little while, the split screen becomes the norm, and you don't mind it so much. Aaron Eckheart and Helena Bonham Carter are perfect, and share great chemistry, and without their great preformances, this film would be nothing. It would be empty, and lifeless, and they bring the life to a rather odd script. The script tries to contain all of the secrets of the second half by making the characters talk in ways that they wouldn't normally talk, in the first half. It's hard to explain, and I can only describe exactly what I mean by spoiling things, which is not my intention at all. Let's just say, the opening conversation isn't the most realistic thing you'll find. It sounds normal in the beginning, but when certain things come into light, the reality of it drips down, quickly.
When the night is over, and it's time for the woman to catch her plane back home, you really do wish that the night could continue, just for another few hours. "Conversations with Other Women" runs for a short 82 minutes, and just when your getting into the swing of things, the screen turns black. These are great characters. They are funny, intelligent, smart, and you can watch them talk to one another all day. Get in tune with their histories, and get in touch with who they really are, instead of just peeking into their lives for a few precious hours. I know that it takes a candle from Linklater. Hell, even the actor that plays the man as a young man bears an odd resemblence to Ethan Hawke, but it is it's own movie. It's a different conversation, and different circumstances, and a damn good one at that. "Conversations with Other Women' does stay with you, and the night is over far too quickly.