'Some Other Woman' Needed Some Other Script

Directed by Joel David Moore

Starring Ashley Greene, Tom Felton, Amanda Crew, Rick Fox, Brooke Lyons, Samantha Kaine, Caroline Raynaud

BY Courtney SmallPublished Jan 12, 2024

Some Other Woman, the latest film from actor-director Joel David Moore, opens with an ominous tale about a fisherman's wife who was lost at sea. As the narrator recounts the story, fragmented images appear of two women wrestling underwater at night and a mysterious fisherman's boat standing guard above them. While an effective way to establish both the eerie tone and questions of duality that permeate the film, it's only a matter of time before it becomes clear that the haunting depths the film swims in are rather shallow. 

Using the water as its central metaphor for the parallel streams life can take, often divided by the choices we make, the film takes its time establishing the story of a woman whose world begins to crumble around her. From the moment Eve (Amanda Crew) emerges from the sea and is greeted by her husband Peter (Tom Felton) on a beach in the Cayman Islands, something clearly isn't quite right as her memory has become hazy after suffering yet another miscarriage.   

The emotional pain of losing another child causes Eve to question her own self-worth and the path her life has taken. Once a promising singer, she gave up her old life in the U.S. to accompany Peter on a tropical island for a job opportunity at the real estate company they both now work at. With Peter thriving in his new role that was supposed to be temporary, he pushes Eve to permanently plant their family roots in the sands of this lush island. 

Wrapped in the sorrow of disappointment and longing for the life she once had, Eve's life starts to unravel when she spots a mysterious woman (Ashley Greene) in the water near the couple's beachfront property. The presence of the stranger, who only she seems able to see at first, coupled with her increasing inability to remember key details of her life, causes Eve and those around her to question her sanity.

As Eve's mental state comes into question, Moore peppers his film with subtle changes to her daily routine that enhance the sense of disorientation and paranoia, forcing the audience to reconsider everything they've witnessed to that point. Is Eve being haunted by an evil force? Is she the real villain of the piece? Is she imagining it all? 

While Moore effectively builds an unnerving atmosphere in the first half, Some Other Woman frequently gets tangled in its own stylish threads. The film feels especially frustrating as all the pieces for a truly haunting and thought-provoking thriller are present, but the script never figures out how to put the puzzle together in a meaningful way.  

Far more interested in the twists and turns of Eve's journey, the screenplay loses sight of the film's catalyst of Eve's internal conflict. Some Other Woman may make proclamations on the pressures on women to conform to societal expectations, but Eve's burdens are never truly felt outside of her miscarriage.  

The same can be said for the film's approach to mysticism. Sure, there are recurring shots of a fishing boat and a mysterious Cayman woman urging Eve to look toward the sea to find herself, but the supernatural aspects are neither explained nor explored. Similar to an influencer who doesn't actually care about the quality of the products they're hawking, the spirituality of the Caribbean is merely treated as something cool to show off and discard when the photoshoot is over, making for a hollow film that plays out like a slightly scarier version of Sliding Doors, but without the overall nuance or charm.  

Moore clearly knows how to create an eerie atmosphere, and his cast does their best with what they're given, but neither can overcome the film's lacklustre and muddled script. Some Other Woman may be about a woman drowning in the sea of expectation, but it's the audience who'll need a life raft.

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