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We See Chick Flicks: The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girl
Starring Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana
Based on the book by Philippa Gregory
The Lowdown: Based on the bestselling historical fiction/chick-lit novel by Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Sister is the story of two sisters who bed and wed Henry VIII (a brooding Eric Bana), in an effort to secure their family’s social rank and fortune. There’s Anne (Natalie Portman), the older, wilder and modern-ahead-her-time sister, and there’s Mary (Scarlett), A.K.A “The Other Sister,” who is more servile and caring. Mary’s nurturing, sweet nature eventually lures the King in and the two have a passionate, but brief love affair that results in a son. But the King is easily bored and distracted while poor Mary is laid up with a difficult pregnancy and is lured into Anne’s arms. The more conniving of the two, Anne is able to convince him to leave his Spanish wife, Queen Katherine of Aragon and marry her — in actuality, Henry’s desire for a divorce is what led him to split from the Catholic Church and form the Church of England. In the process Henry also grows to hate Anne and himself. And to add insult to injury, Anne is unable to give him an heir to the thrown. Akin to a 1500-era soap, this movie is anything but boring, and is rife with contemporary themes such as pimping, adultery, incest and familial betrayal. Portman is fabulous as the evil, twisted sister, able to make her near-breakdowns believable, while Johansson falls flat in this docile role—not to mention her English accent is laughable. By the fifth time you here her utter, “Because she’s my sistaaaaa,” you might be ready to see her beheaded instead of her sistaaaaaa.
The Verdict: Oh go ahead and bring your man. There’s plenty of incest, rape, sex and beheadings to keep dudes intrigued, plus there’s Scarlett Jo and Natalie Portman in cleavage-heaving bustiers to boot. Just don’t bring your small child—they might not understand the rape scene!

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