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.