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September 12, 2009

The Other Man

Other_man Liam Neeson's successful software mogul Peter enjoys a perfect European life with his haute couture shoe-designer wife Lisa (Laura Linney) and their twenty-something daughter Abigail (Romola Garai) in Richard Eyre's problematic revenge fantasy. In its first act Lisa lets Peter know that she has cheating on her mind over a fancy dinner, before vanishing from his life a few scenes later, leaving behind the words "Lake Como" scribbled on a scrap of paper, and a message from her lover Ralph on her cell phone. Peter sees red and sets about tracking down Ralph (Antonio Banderas) in Milan, where his wife's former lover lives as a well-dressed bon vivant seducer by day, and as a lowly apartment building superintendent by night. Without showing his hand, Peter strikes up a friendship with his rival, and the men's chess games at a local bar generate what little dramatic conflict the story has to offer. Peter sends Ralph baiting e-mails disguised to be from Lisa, whose belated fate is eventually revealed in one of the most incoherent bits of storytelling to come around. Stagy to a fault, and painfully uneventful, "The Other Man" suffocates from the pitiable writing on display.
Rated R. 89 mins. (D) (One Star)


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