Reflections after watching The Other Woman

I usually promise to write on something here, or return with an update but then get busy and avoid my post drafts.

But let me make good this time.

So I went to watch The Other Woman, and I fully expected to be irritated through it all. I actually wasn’t. It was extremely ridiculous and I laughed more than I expected to.

Kate (Leslie Mann) basically forces her husband’s lovers to cooperate. Kate is a crazy woman, but the too-depressed-to-get-out-of-bed or the cry-into-his-phone-asking-why crazy; she’s crazy about the other women sleeping with him. She stalks them, she forces friendship and sees the combined group as a unity.

I’m certain that someone else in the interwebs will write about why the man cheats and the women get together and go crazy. So let’s not go there now. But I’ve been thinking about two things with this movie.

1. More relationships, less sex.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, because I have to readjust from the “personal space” setting that I have on when I’m in America. But I’m returning home where people can hold hands for five whole minutes of a conversation. We touch a lot, and it’s not sexual. We have conversations with everyone, and the attention has nothing to do with interest. There will be dancing, and it doesn’t have to be the grinding from the college parties.

The connection to The Other Woman? That closet scene between Kate, the wife (Leslie Mann) and Carly (Cameron Diaz), a lawyer Kate’s husband is sleeping with.

In this scene, the two women are both drank and have a lot of fun. Kate, the official wife, tries on Carly’s clothes and they giggle about heels and underwear. Part of it is probably the fact that Kate gave up everything for the marriage and likely had no woman friends to share such moments with. I couldn’t forget that it was sex- albeit sex with a third party- that brought these two women together. They were having the kind of conversation I have with my sisters and with my woman friends.

I don’t know, but maybe pop culture needs to do relationships without the sex. [Side confession: Charmed is my all-time favorite screen anything/everything]

2. Am I the only one who worried about responsible sex?

I don’t even know if the word I’m looking for is “responsible sex”, but the first thing I said to my friend when she asked was, “I think this country [U.S] doesn’t have enough conversations about HIV.” Obviously I have grown up in a different setting and it is natural that such indiscretions immediately connects to HIV and AIDS. I know that if I was the writer of this script, the moment that Kate found out he was cheating, she would never sleep with Mark again and her first stop would be the doctor’s. I would make Mark (and/or his several lovers) reach for a condom; or have someone complain about an STI.

Should we ask popular culture to be more health-aware?

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