Ultimate 90’s Blogathon: Sleepless in Seattle (1993) by Life of this City Girl

ultimate 90's blogathon

We are wrapping week 2 of Ultimate 90’s Blogathon with an entry by Natasha from Life of this City Girl. She’s here with a review of Sleepless in Seattle, a great follow-up with another Meg Ryan movie from last year’s When Harry Met Sally. If you haven’t been to Life of this City Girl, she does book, movies and TV series reviews. Remember to head over to give her some love after you’re done here!

Movie Review: Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Sleepless in Seattle

Hey everyone! Natasha here from Life of This City Girl. I’m so excited today to share with you a review I did for two of my favorite bloggers’ 90’s marathon. Thanks Kim and Drew for letting me take part! (and also making me watch this again)

I chose Sleepless in Seattle because 1) it meets the criteria and 2) I’ve really always been meaning to watch this film again. I’m not even going to pretend that I’m one of those girls who don’t love a good romantic comedy – I love them and I’m not afraid to admit it. The older ones are undeniably better than the newer ones, both in dialogue and acting, so it is always a real pleasure getting to them.

Sleepless in Seattle is really dialogue heavy. I like a film where the characters talk and there is sense to the chatter so for me to end up being frustrated with the amount of conversation going on, it must be quite intense. Some of the comedic timing seemed off and misplaced, and the parts I’m sure was created as jokes weren’t funny at all. It could have been the whole me-being-born-in-the-wrong-decade thing, and I simply don’t get the way they made jokes back then.

I also feel like I have to mention the amount of stereotypes the film bludgeoned into its’ watchers that I was none too pleased with. It was a given that these females were desperately looking for a husband – not someone to share a life with, just a title to change your name and status and follow the neat path the world set out for you. It is also downright insulting to all the wonderful single fathers out there that there is this constant insinuation that if you are a man, you need a woman with you to properly raise a kid. We all know it is not true! The director used a sledgehammer laced with zero subtlety informing us that women cry for romantic movies and men like action movies. I retched. Metaphorically, but I retched.

Apart from that, I found the film quite fun. Sleepless in Seattle is innocent and sweet. No kissy time even. The kid is adorable and I generally prefer movies without children. Rosie O’Donnell is one of those amazing women who emits sarcasm with perfectly pleasant facial expressions. It is a great attribute and gave me some good laughs during the film.

Sleepless in Seattle is not my favorite nineties film by far, but I can see why it is considered a classic. I also always have a good laugh about the fashion back then. I’m glad to report that everyone had better hair in the nineties than they did in the eighties, because that was bad, and although the clothes weren’t completely yet where we needed them to be, everyone was looking so much better. I am still really glad I didn’t have to wear all those bulky suits they forced women to wear when we started entering the workplace in earnest.
Sleepless in Seattle
The ending was naturally very cute and I enjoyed it, but sheesh, I wish we lived in a world where you’d be alive after meeting a random stranger in New York and immediately take his hand and go frolicking into the sunset. If he also looked like young Tom Hanks, I’d be so on board!

To sum this up I enjoyed this film more than just a bit. I wouldn’t rate it as first on a 90’s list or as a romantic comedy, but it is fun and sweet.

Thanks again guys!

Thanks to Natasha for a great review on Sleepless in Seattle! 🙂
Be sure to head over to Drew’s Movie Reviews on Monday for the next entry!

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Valentine’s Marathon: Mr. Right (2015)

And the Valentine’s Marathon finally starts! There’s only like a five day countdown to the actual day, not that it really means anything much to myself but its a nice excuse to jump into some romantic comedies and other romance dramas. I finally managed to find time to get some of it done.

The first one was actually quite unexpected but I wanted to be spontaneous so I ended up choosing Mr. Right. Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell, what can go wrong, right?

Let’s check it out!

Mr. Right (2015)

Mr. Right

Director: Paco Cabezas

Cast: Sam Rockwell, Anna Kendrick, Tim Roth, James Ransone, Anson Mount, Michael Eklund, RZA, Katie Nehra

A girl falls for the “perfect” guy, who happens to have a very fatal flaw: he’s a hitman on the run from the crime cartels who employ him. – IMDB

It always feels good to start up a movie and right away, the comedy tone is exactly what you’d like. Mr. Right was exactly what I liked about it. It helps that I’m a fan of Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick. Mr. Right isn’t perfect for sure. The story itself has some pretty awkward and great moments. Some other fun times and there’s a tad of action here and there but the true stars of the movie in this rather messy plot line that seems to really work best when Sam Rockwell and/or Anna Kendrick is on screen. Lucky for us (and the movie as a whole), they are in a lot of scenes. Our villain is a little undefined because there’s Tim Roth’s character hunting down Sam Rockwell, that trickles into a somewhat silly but manipulative plot of these brothers and their feud, who are the obvious baddies. Mr. Right works in all the odd and awkward ways.

Mr. Right

Mr. Right has a great cast headlining for it. Anna Kendrick plays as Martha, a girl freshly broken up and in the recovering days, she meets Mr. Right (aka Francis), played by Sam Rockwell. Anna Kendrick as Martha sometimes reminds me a little of Tina Fey. That is a great thing because Tina Fey’s humor usually works for me. Anna Kendrick however carries herself nicely as the sweet but unique girl. Martha is a colorful character. She has weird thought processes and connects odd things together and right from the child of her aspiring to be a T-Rex, we already know we’re in for some fun times. There are not enough words to describe how fantastic Anna Kendrick plays this role into a believable manner. Its hard for us to find someone so awkward also but she does in Mr. Right, a hitman with a reverse psychology to not only dance his way out of situations, view a connection to the objects around him to predict when and where things will drop but also kill the people who hire him because murder is wrong. Mr. Right is on the run but when he misses Martha, he feels the connection right away and it changes who he is a lot because he doesn’t want to lose her. In just a short few days, the connection between Martha and Francis are amazing. Odd and awkward but incredibly cute and fun. Props goes to Sam Rockwell for being able to pull off such a crazy character but also to both of them for delivering incredible chemistry. Even without the action and fighting and guns, watching them both was charming and adorable and entertaining to no end.

Mr. Right

I’m a fan of Tim Roth. I’ve liked him since his role in Lie to Me. He was the highlight of 2015’s The Hateful Eight (even if I didn’t like the movie). Yet here, his character is interesting to say the least. Its hard to say its bad but probably more underused. Tim Roth plays Hopper, the mentor of Francis who is now hunting him down to set him straight from what he thinks is pathetic ways. However, Hopper also is a master of disguises and when he acts as a cop in New Orleans, his accent actually sounds pretty bad. Not that I’m an expert at accents but it felt a little fake, which it is, of course. In many ways, if this plot was only about Hopper chasing down Francis and then Francis falling for Martha, perhaps it would be more neat.

Mr. Right

However, we then step into the other plot point of the actual baddies which are brothers in feud where the younger Von, played by James Ransone, is trying to use Francis’s reverse hitman oddity to his advantage and get rid of his brother, Richie, played by Anson Mount who now runs the show. Von has the help of Johnny Moon, played by Michael Eklund (who I recently complimented for his role as the bad guy in The Call). These guys are all idiots on purpose, meaning the script wrote them like that and its these moments that give the movie a comedic action moments and in all honestly, with a story that doesn’t really have much going for it with these bad guys and whatever they are up to, that is what makes it all the more entertaining. It actually boosts the characters of Francis and especially Martha as she breaks out of her shell and embraces her crazy making her really the perfect match for her Mr. Right.

Mr. Right

You know what? The more I write about it and think about Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick as Mr. Right/Francis and Martha, I just can’t help but love them more and more. Sure, Mr. Right has a few flaws, mostly in a somewhat messy plot with supporting characters not used to their full potential but there’s something special here. Its entertaining and has some really great comedic moments. The chemistry between Francis and Martha is awesome and made me love them and cheer for them in all the weirdest ways to actually believing that they are in fact, perfect for each other. And Francis compliments Martha in the oddest moments during the movie and its kinda cute and sweet and hilarious all at the same time. Action-romantic comedy dose totally fulfilled here.

Have you seen Mr. Right? Are you a fan of Anna Kendrick and/or Sam Rockwell?

When Harry Met Sally by Life of This City Girl – Ultimate 80s Blogathon

We’re almost at the end of the Ultimate 80s Blogathon with just one more guest contribution tomorrow. Today’s fantastic choice is by Natasha from Life of This City Girl.
Head over and check out her review on When Harry Met Sally! 🙂

Drew's Movie Reviews

Welcome to the penultimate review from our guests for the Ultimate 80s Blogathon! Today, Natasha from Life of This City Girl takes a look at the romantic comedy classic When Harry Met Sally.  Natasha writes reviews for all kinds of movies and TV series, as well as participates in the blindspot series and 100 Happy Days, plus much more. There is a lot going on at her site so go give it a look if you don’t follow her already.  But for now, let’s look at her thoughts on When Harry Met Sally.


HarrySallycover2 Plot : Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship

Rating: 8.5/10

Goodness! I am so happy that Kim and Drew got this idea – it made me actually sit down and watch this movie, something that I’ve been meaning to…

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Valentine Marathon: No Reservations (2007)

Next up in the Valentine Marathon is another little movie with a lovely actress that I haven’t watched in a while, Catherine Zeta-Jones.  I’ve never even heard of this one until it popped up on Netflix.  When you put rom-com, food/cooking and a fine cast together, there is no question how this one, No Reservations, ended up on my rundown.

Let’s check it out! 🙂

NO RESERVATIONS (2007)

no reservations

Director: Scott Hicks

Cast: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin, Patricia Clarkson, Jenny Wade, Bob Balaban, Brian F. O’Byrne

 Kate is one of the best chefs in town running the kitchen at 22 Bleecker Restaurant in Manhattan. She lives by a set of rules and her life is the restaurant neglecting everything else that she needs.  Her boss, Paula (Patricia Clarkson) makes her go to therapy to hopefully ensure that she won’t offend any more clients.  However, when her sister has an accident, she is given the role to take care of her young niece, Zoe (Abigail Breslin). While she’s away, Paula hires an opera singing, Italian cuisine-inspired Nick (Aaron Eckhart) to help out in the kitchen. Somehow, Nick makes her throw her rulebook out the window as she becomes more and more attracted to him.

No ReservationsI don’t know if it happens to other people but writing reviews for romantic comedies get a little challenging after writing a whole bunch.  A lot of times, its not so much to look at.  No Reservations was one that I enjoyed.  It was surprisingly fun to watch and although there was emphasis on food, the story itself was pretty formulaic and predictable.  I’m not saying thats a problem for me but that is a flaw that most romantic comedies tend to have.  Just being objective.  While it was an extremely simple story, the cast really made this a lot better than what it should be. Looking at the cast, can you doubt any of their skills? I’m not such a connoisseur of Catherine Zeta-Jones but she is a classy lady.  Aaron Eckhart has been an increasing favorite and lets not even get me started on my personal favorite of Abigail Breslin.  And although Patricia Clarkson has only supporting roles most times, I can’t remember one that I didn’t like.

no reservations

Whats a romantic comedy without talking about the chemistry of the leading man and lady? We’ve already established that the cast is what won me over in No Reservations.  Catherine Zeta-Jones plays the very uptight Kate and because of that, sometimes the things she says and does are pretty funny.  She’s not so good at dealing with people: not her therapist, not customers who criticize her food, or people who question her lead in the kitchen and especially not a little girl that she had to suddenly take on.  And thats how the balance of her when we see Aaron Eckhart’s Nick jump on screen, there’s a lot of funny moments.  Her issues are suddenly diminished because of his appearance even without her knowing it and when she does break out of her shell and takes life out of her kitchen and focuses on the more important things, her character becomes even more lovely to watch.

no reservations

Aaron Eckhart’s character, Nick is written pretty standard but somehow he adds a little flare and charm to it.  Who expects this guy who comes from Italian cuisine and Kate expects him to challenge her master chef position but in fact, he turns it around and shows her respect making her think that he wants to be there because he praises her cooking but still keeping his style.  He comes in singing opera and having the whole kitchen do it with him and then he’s the one that helps Kate convince and open up her niece’s appetite and then he kind of charms his way into her life by opening her eyes to the world outside of her rules. Aaron Eckhart has this rebellious charm always and anyone else with less presence on the screen with this role wouldn’t have had the same effect.

no reservations

If we talk child actresses, Abigail Breslin in her younger roles always took my heart away.  She is not only adorable but she has this strong character that makes her really fun to watch.  Plus, she knows how to use those emotions and capture a role.  In here, she’s a little girl who loses her mother suddenly and is forced to live with her aunt who really doesn’t understand her really well, nor does she actually care enough and doesn’t even seem to make that much effort.  Zoe’s role in this is the bridge to Kate and Nick’s relationship and the little adventures that Nick and Zoe have are absolutely fun to watch: making pizzas and pancakes and making a pretty boring and routine lifestyle that Kate leads into something with a lot more excitement.

Overall, No Reservations is a romantic comedy that took me by surprise and it was a pleasant surprise.  I might not remember it or run out to add it to my collection right away but it gave me a few laughs here and there.  Aaron Eckhart and Catherine Zeta-Jones brought on a really sweet chemistry and Abigail Breslin made me smile because she was so lovable and adorable to watch.  Its a little formulaic and predictable but somehow this somehow charmed me 🙂

Have you seen No Reservations? What are you thoughts on Aaron Eckhart/Catherine Zeta-Jones/Abigail Breslin? Do you have any favorite movies with them?

Valentine Marathon: Enough Said (2013)

Finally, we’re back with the next Valentine Marathon review! I’m falling behind with my originally planned schedule.  It was a little ambitious to say the very least but thats okay.  I’m still choosing romance/rom-com choices that I’ve been really wanting to check out.  Its a little weird that this year’s list is full of a lot of pretty seemingly sophisticated choices and with a lot of actors and actresses that I’m pretty unfamiliar with.  Thats exactly where my next choice, Enough Said, falls.  I didn’t have cable when I was younger so The Sopranos never exactly caught on for me and well, even if I did have cable, most likely my parents wouldn’t let me watch it.  Still, I’ve seen James Gandolfini in a few movies before this one, never romance though. Honestly, I’m a little intrigued by how he would do. Plus, this is about divorced middle-aged so I’m not exactly the target audience either.  Regardless, I’m not too picky so here we go!

ENOUGH SAID (2013)

ENOUGH SAID

Director & Writer: Nicole Holofcener

Cast: Julie Louis-Dreyfuss, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Tracey Fairaway, Toni Collette, Ben Falcone

Eva (Julie Louis-Dreyfuss) is a divorced masseuse living with her daughter (Tracey Faraway) who is about to leave for college.  While she struggles to find another man that interests her, she finds it in another divorced individual, Albert (James Gandolfini). Albert brings her lots of happiness and they quickly embark into a relationship however much to her surprise, she realizes that her new client and becoming best friend, Marianne (Catherine Keener) turns out to be Albert’s ex-wife.

enough said

Enough Said breaks out from the romantic comedy to be a sophisticated and charming one.  Most more middle-aged ones feature a lot of falling back into love with your divorced half or whatnot and just having silly situations and whatnot.  This one is different.  Enough Said is very grown up but also extremely fun to watch because our characters Eva and Albert are absolutely lovable.  They are humorous naturally with just the way they say things and having the respect of each other and their situations.  Enough Said brings a maturity to a genre that really hasn’t been really excelling in that and it mostly have to do with how they bring forth some more serious issues but use such charming and well-written characters.

enough said

Enough Said has a lot to thank for the fine acting and irresistible chemistry between Julie Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini playing Eva and Albert respectively.  Their characters radiate with this sweet romance of falling in love a second time and finding this happiness and joy that they didn’t when both their marriages ended.  Both are in similar life situations and they understand and need similar things to each other.  It also hits the second thing that in a second relationship there are other issues that they need to deal with and it has a lot to do with being able to let yourself become vulnerable again in this love.  As much as the amusing part is seeing Eva and Albert’s love grow, there’s also the issue of how her opinions could be influenced because of her own insecurities. This is where the character of Marianne becomes slightly crucial to this story because she becomes that person that you know is offering a skewed third person’s opinion that starts making you question your own beliefs and its knowing when to put a stop to this, which Eva doesn’t do and finds excuses to keep her friendship with Marianne regardless of how it could potentially hurt this great relationship that she’s in, turning this love story somewhat bittersweet in its own way.

Enough Said

I really have no words to describe how great Enough Said is.  It really took me by surprise mostly because I didn’t really know what to expect.  I didn’t expect to connect with it as well as I did.  Just goes to say that love is universal and it really doesn’t have an age limit.  The key is that to get back into anything, you need to have the courage to stand up for what you believe and who you believe in.  There was a conversation about protecting relationships and ourselves that I really loved among many things.  Plus, there was the backdrop with Eva and her daughter’s relationship and that was a pretty well done as well. Its a great story with well written characters that carries a ton of charm and chuckles.  I totally recommend it 🙂

Have you seen Enough Said? What are your thoughts on it? 

Valentine Marathon: Sabrina (1954)

I’m all about experimenting new movies and staying optimistic but usually after two more average selections, I like to make conscientiously better choices that are sure to be good.  Of course, nothing is guaranteed but my absolute love for Audrey Hepburn and my desire to want to see more of her movies has me searching up her movies on Netflix on a regular basis to make sure I never miss any of them. Which is why, the next selection is one of her earlier movies and also is the first movie that I’ve seen of Humphrey Bogart.  I give you full right to judge me right now.  But, as I always say when I’m reviewing older movies, I know I’m WAY behind and I’m working as hard as I can to catch up. I’ve just learned that older movies are classy and if you watch too many of them, there’s so much less to love about a lot of movies nowadays, especially romantic comedies.

Either way, next up…Sabrina! Lets check it out! 🙂

SABRINA (1954)

Sabrina

Director: Billy Wilder

Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, William Holden, Walter Hampden, John Williams, Martha Hyer

Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn) has been living with her father (John Williams) at the Larrabee’s mansion ever since he became a chauffeur there. Since very young, she’s always had a crush on the younger son, David (William Holden) who is a playboy and just got out of his third divorce.  David doesn’t notice her at all until she comes back from a cooking course in Paris 2 years after looking sophisticated and transformed into a beauty. However, the Larrabee’s business lies on a plastics merger that his brother Linus (Humphrey Bogart) has worked hard to get and to strengthen the merger, he has made David agree to marry the new partner’s daughter, Elizabeth (Martha Hyer). Hoping to severe David’s admiration for Sabrina, Linus takes Sabrina hoping to charm her to leave their family for Paris until he realizes that he may have developed feelings for her unexpectedly.

Sabrina

Sabrina is such a charming movie.  I mean its nothing like Roman Holiday or Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but its pretty close.  The three characters here, especially Audrey Hepburn are a joy to watch.  Plus, the story itself is pretty adorable.  Sabrina is a girl who transformed into a woman physically but its really between keeping with her crush that she’s had forever and finally realizing that she’s in love with the person she least expected to know how to love, a saavy businessman who is many years older than she is.  That character itself is charming because no matter how old a movie is, a girl’s crush on that impossible guy is always there.  And Audrey Hepburn portrays Sabrina so well.

sabrina

William Holden plays David, the playboy who never sees Sabrina before she comes back from Paris as a woman.  Although she goes away to forget him, the moment David notices her, she falls right back hoping to finally get the man even though he’s engaged.  Although I saw Paris When It Sizzles before this one and it was done afterwards, I felt that the connection between Audrey Hepburn and William Holden was better in that one mostly because the focus wasn’t on them in this movie.  After all, David fades off when Linus’s plans work out to keep him bedridden in kind of a pretty hilarious way. Honestly, William Holden has that natural attraction and confidence.  I mean, how can Sabrina resist, right? Especially when she was so young and all she’s ever really known seems to be the Larrabee residence’s affairs.

Sabrina

Which brings us to the second man here, Linus played by Humphrey Bogart.  The older and more sensible brother who only has his mind on business suddenly needs to try and charm a young Sabrina and change her mind with his stories.  Linus plays as a mysterious person because I kept wondering if the things he told Sabrina are real knowing that they were probably all not true anyways.  But Sabrina, being naive as she was, believes everything he says and slowly falls this man that seems to be so different underneath all the serious.  But then, my question now is, if everything he said was to make her leave for Paris, when she falls for him, wouldn’t she be falling for a lie? She’s have to know him all over again. Hmm…I just thought about that as I was writing this up.

Sabrina is just absolutely charming and awesome.  The story, the characters and the cast itself are amusing to watch and its just so much fun.  C’mon, I giggled a little when that “Yes, I have no bananas” song played.  So weird but so cute also. And Audrey Hepburn sings La Vie en Rose and she sounds dazzling 🙂 I totally recommend this movie! I absolutely loved it!

Have you seen Sabrina? What are your thoughts? Any other Humphrey Bogart recommendations?

Valentine Marathon: The Other Woman (2014)

I had to skip yesterday for a simple reason.  I realized that the movie I finished was really a drama and not really a romantic comedy so I decided to tuck that away for a future review and ventured off to watch another movie to continue the marathon.  I have been rather iffy on whether I wanted to see The Other Woman.  Cameron Diaz hasn’t really scored any awesome roles of late and well, this just seems like a grown up version of John Tucker Must Die, if anything.  I like John Tucker Must Die but a grown up version seems to be just full of stupidity.

Regardless, lets check this out and see if I’m right!

THE OTHER WOMAN (2014)

the other woman

Director: Nick Cassavetes

Cast: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Taylor Kinney

After discovering her boyfriend (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is married, Carly (Cameron Diaz) soon meets the wife (Leslie Mann) he’s been betraying. And when yet another love affair (Kate Upton) is discovered, all three women team up to plot revenge on the three-timing S.O.B. – IMDB

the other woman

I remember reading a lot of negative reviews on The Other Woman when it first hit theatres.  I didn’t think it was all that bad but it definitely felt like I was watching this trashy romantic comedy of sorts and it totally had to do with the story layout.  I have nothing wrong with the concept or anything.  I just had this moment of wondering whether this movie was insulting my intelligence or something (not that watching rom-coms is about that most of the time either).  However, what the movie does well is probably bringing in some pretty decent cast that manages to make the best of the roles they was given.  By the end of this, I felt like I actually finished watching this movie because I liked the cast and the individual characters. Somehow, they grew on me a little.  Well, mostly Cameron Diaz’s Carly and Leslie Mann’s Kate.

the other woman

As much as this is a revenge movie on the cheating bastard, the bond between the three women, specifically Kate and Carly are the highlight of this movie.  There’s something about these two ladies on screen that really resound how it all starts off with this weird way of meeting each other.  I mean, awkward probably is the right word and just how the two characters rub off each other somehow and grow.  Kate grows to be a stronger woman than the meek, fragile stay at home wife for the most part.  While Kate Upton comes on at a later time, her addition adds the dumb blonde factor and sometimes, its what gives this movie a little more eye candy, I guess. Although, I’m pretty not a lot of men will want to sit through this.  At least I know that I won’t ask my boyfriend to.

the other woman

Whats a rom-com without talking about the men, even if this doesn’t exactly qualify as a rom-com but more of a chick flick.  The men selection is actually pretty good.  I don’t think I’ve seen the cheater Mark, played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau but he is a pretty fine looking man.  He does match up to the role but he can pull off the pretentious vibe a little.  For the most part, he’s good to look at but he’s also easy to dislike as I start to like the lady characters more.  And then in the supporting characters, there’s Phil played by Taylor Kinney who is a sweet handsome man and he just sends off this lovely vibes.  Of course he turns into a love interest and its expected and he’s in like 4 scenes probably (if not less) but I liked him a lot.

the other woman

Now, if there’s one reason why I wouldn’t watch this again, it would be because of Nicki Minaj.  I’m already not much of a fan of her music or her as a performer but now she’s going in movies and I just didn’t like it.  Ughhh….Thats all I’m saying on that.

The Other Woman is an average romantic comedy.  The characters and cast themselves make this a lot more fun to watch than the story itself.  There’s some laughs, a lot of stupidity and some silliness but a lot of lovable vibe about finding girl friends in the most unexpected women.  Its not something I’ll watch again…any time soon anyways, but its not all bad.

Have you seen The Other Woman? What do you think about it?