In an attempt to reduce the amount of digital clutter in my life, I’ve resolved to actually watch the 50+ films and TV shows on my Netflix queue.
I first stumbled across Conversations with Other Women while doing a random search on Netflix. The film seemed interesting enough to gather dust on my queue for over a year: a man and a woman with a past meet-up at a wedding and re-explore their failed relationship. Sadly, I’ve been kicking around a similar script idea in my head since I moved to New York (this is why you don’t dick around, kids).
While the film’s dialogue is smart, it sounds and feels like it’d be much better as a play than a film. This sentiment is amplified by the filmmaker’s choice to shoot and edit the entire thing in split screen. My guess is that Hans Canosa’s intention was to experiment with the character’s memories of each other when younger and recollection of past events. While he does find some moments of great storytelling, the effect is more jarring than daring. I found myself distracted more often than not, and even annoyed, since the split screen rarely embodies a single shot that let’s the viewer ease into the world of the film. And more so, that seems to only highlight that the script is heavy on dialogue, light on dramatic action, and gets you wondering why not just make it a play? The story and characters are interesting enough.
Both Aaron Eckhart and Helena Bonham Carter are great; Tom Lennon and Olivia Wilde get a lot out of their limited screen time as well. By the film’s end, you get what Conversations with Other Women is really all about – regrets, hope, possible redemption. I wanted to like it a lot more than I did, but seriously – 84 minutes of a goddamn split screen?