“The Other Side of Midnight”

By Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com

May 2, 2007

An over-the-top film co-starring a young and gorgeous Susan Sarandon, The Other Side of Midnight is a deliciously melodramatic adaptation of Sidney Sheldon’s sweeping (and often schlocky) novel of the same name.

Released theatrically in 1977, the film focuses on the intermingling lives of sexily innocent Noelle (Marie-France Pisier), who has a brief affair with a cad named Larry (John Beck), who ends up marrying wealthy and proper Catherine (Sarandon).

When Noelle and Larry meet first lock eyes, he is a dashing World War II American fighter pilot who professes his love for her. But when she discovers she is pregnant with his baby, he is nowhere to be found.

So what’s a poor girl to do but abort her baby, rise to stardom as one of the world’s most famous actresses, and plot revenge against her duplicitous ex-lover?

But faster than you can say, “You go, girl!” (or “Oh no she didn’t,” depending on your point of view), Noelle once again falls for Larry’s vaguely porn star charms.

But what to do with Catherine, who refuses to divorce her cheating spouse?

Make no mistake about it: The Other Side of Midnight is not quality filmmaking and is probably not something Academy Award winner Sarandon even lists on her resume. But she is a joy to watch, even as she has to deliver clunky lines such as, “If you don’t love me, Larry, don’t lay me.”

This is not a great movie. Heck, it’s not even a particularly good movie.

But it’s one of those guilty pleasures that you’ll watch all the way through, even as you’re complaining about the implausibility of it all.

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