Another Woman

Woody Allen writes and directs the 1988 drama, Another Woman
about the life of Marion, played by Gena Rowlands. Marion is a
philosophy instructor and well regarded in her field. So much so that
she’s taking time off work to write a book on the subject. Since she
has trouble focusing on work while at home, Marion rents a space in a
different building that’s connected to s psychiatrists office. From her
space, she can hear the conversations held by the psychiatrist and
becomes enthralled with the tale of one young pregnant woman,
considering suicide.

Becoming enthralled is a feat for Marion as both her and her husband
are very collected, passionless individuals. It’s as if something is
awaken in Marion by this conversation she overhears. Along with this
storyline, we have the character of Larry Lewis, another author, who is
desperately in love with Marion and wants her to leave her husband,
which she refuses. Eventually Marion meets the woman she’s been
listening in one, and the two become friends. It’s when they are out
together that she stumbles upon her husband cheating on her. After
reading a passage from Larry regarding a character based on her in his
latest novel, Marion looks devastated and realizes her chance at
happiness may truly be gone forever.

This is one of those films that there isn’t really anything wrong
with it, but I could never really get on board with the storyline. It’s
definitely a different type of Woody Allen film than I’m used to. Sure
it’s still set in New York and the characters are well to do and
intelligent but this main character Marion is obviously a woman and not a
typical neurotic Wood Allen main character type. I’m used to seeing
the main character be exploding with passion and a need for the world to
understand him, yet Marion doesn’t seem to have much drive in this
arena. She seems satisfied with being cold and cut-off from the rest of
the world. This is also a difficult film to write about as there were
no glaring strengths or weaknesses that I could find. Gena Rowlands is
fine as the main character Marion, yet I couldn’t really understand why
she had all these middle aged men chasing after her. I thought the
stereotype was to have older men chasing after young women, but that’s
certainly not the case in this film. It’s not a bad film by any means,
but I would consider this a minor Wood Allen effort.

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