A few years ago, a movie came out, The Other Woman, and I was scared to death to watch it. It stars Natalie Portman and she plays wife number two to a successful lawyer. Lisa Kudrow, who I love, plays his first wife. I recognized the supporting cast too from things like Rent and Can't Hardly Wait (best movie ever). Even with this impressive crew, I was still very turned off and never EVER wanted to see this movie. Why you ask? Two reasons. Adultery & a dead baby. The very two things that scared the sh*t out of me back then, and probably most women in general. Not me dying or getting sick or I dunno...maybe sharks, snakes, spiders? I always assumed if my husband stabbed me in the back or one of my children died, I would never be able to go on with life. I would immediately be bed-ridden and eventually pass away peacefully from a broken heart. Or be locked up in an insane asylum for the rest of my life. You get the gist. They were my biggest fears. Recently I got the courage to watch this movie.
The opening credits are played along side with pictures of Natalie Portman's character, Emelia, and her new husband holding their newborn baby girl, Isabelle. The song playing is "Do You Realize" by The Flamming Lips. Specifically, the verse played goes "do you realize that everyone you know someday will die." ...I got chills instantly.
The first scene is Emelia walking by her empty stroller and out of her apartment. She speed walks through the Central Park ignoring but not avoiding the crew of new mommies meeting up with their fancy city strollers.
I immediately knew where this film was going with that scene. I have to walk by those same groups every day. The happy couples with their newborns and toddlers running around the fountains as they compare notes or commiserate with other new parents. Every.single.day from 5pm to 6:30pm they are there. Sure, I could take a different route to avoid them. But I don't. In a weird way I find it fascinating because I was about to be in their shoes. I also feel like I just need to shut up and deal with it. What, am I going to be a hermit the rest of my life? I won't lie though, it never feels any less crappier than the day before. Without fail, I always picture Evie in her fancy stroller by the fountain.
The movie goes back and forth between the present and the past. It reveals how Emelia started off as a mistress and quickly became pregnant, a wife, and a mother. However, through conversations with William, her step son, we learn that Emelia's baby died 3 days after she gave birth.
This movie is unbelievable. It touches on every issue we loss moms talk about all the time. They touch on SIDS, grief, day of remembrance for angel babies, handling new pregnancy announcements, and pregnancy after loss. There are friends that make accidental insensitive comments. Emelia admits to thinking she's responsible for Isabelle's death. She has conversations with her step son about not wanting to get rid of the unused baby stuff when he asks about selling it. She even fights with her husband when they aren't on the same grieving schedule. I found comfort in watching these story lines play out on the screen. You feel...a tad less crazy.
I would strongly recommend watching this movie. Although I did not lose a child to SIDS, I think this movie portrays the ups and downs of grieving parents pretty darn accurately. The cycles. The roller coaster. It throws in even more twists with ex wives getting pregnant at 43 and a family history of purchasing Russian prostitutes surfaces.
It's on Netflix right now under the category: emotional movies (duh.)