Film Review: Conversations with Other Women

September 20, 2013 1:15 pm

Five minutes into this charming production based solely on the flirtatious chemistry between Aaron Eckhart and Helena Bonham Carter, you’ll be asking yourself why no one has ever heard of or praised ‘Conversations with Other Women’ (2005). Most reminiscent of what we now know as ‘Before’ trilogy (Before Sunrise/Before Sunset/Before Midnight), this hidden gem preceded both Bonham’s and Eckhart’s more commercial successes such as Harry Potter and the Dark Knight respectively.
‘Conversations’ pulls you in with the quick and witty exchange of flirtation and seduction between two slightly bitter, slightly intrigued middle-aged people who are, when all the sugar coating is lifted, debating whether or not to have an affair. Although some might find the split-screen technique used throughout the film distracting, it fits the playful dialogue that makes the first part of the film so attractive and enjoyable.
However, once Bonham’s and Eckhart’s tug-of-war reaches its climax in the hotel room, there is no more need for seductive persuasion, and their unoriginal back-story is revealed, the film slacks in pace and charm – the final part being an overlong attempt at persuasion from Eckhart to get Bonham to stay with him instead of returning to her husband in England. That’s when you will start to realise why, after all, you never heard of ‘Conversations’.
Despite a few hiccups in the final haul, ‘Conversations’ still delivers a relaxing and entertaining look at the dynamics and disappointments of a couple who (finally!) aren’t 20-somethings faced with tough, life-altering decisions on their way to conquer the world. There is enough there to make the leads proud.

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