Stars: Kyle Gerkin, Rachel Tullio, Jennifer Lind, Michael Coleman and William Long
She's Patricia and to reflect modern Arizona more than 'a fat tobacconist's wife' would, she's a barista at a coffee shop, Cartel. She's good at her job, enough so that she recognises Robert when he comes in and has his drink ready before he orders it, correct in every detail right down to the receipt not being needed. He's a regular who shows up at the same time every day, but he may not have really noticed her before now. From this point on, however, he can't get her out of his mind, right down to a dreamlike party scene where only Robert is in focus until she walks up and kisses him, with increasing passion until reverting to being his fiancée, Mary, which switch ably highlights Robert's quandary. He's about to be married and he apparently loves the young lady whom he has asked to be his wife, but his abundant second thoughts are wrapped up in the neat little package that is this knowing barista. This story isn't about whether the pair will do anything about it, it's about how and what he'll feel before and after they do.
The fifteen minute running time also allows Mills to add moments of clarification that aren't in the source story. In Anderson's original, the chain of events is fragmented by tortuous prose so that we struggle with the timeframes involved, while Mills sets everything up chronologically by day. The other woman doesn't know in the original that the man who propositions her is about to be married, but Mills makes sure that Robert explains that to Patricia immediately, before he even knows her name. He even has Mary give him a coffeemaker as a wedding present, unwittingly removing the reason why he might ever see the barista again; in the original, there's no such device as the man simply chooses to avoid the tobacconist's wife by never going down that street ever again. While this remains a story about a man cheating on his wife on the night before his wedding, these details help to make it a little more understandable and a little less offensive; it also raises the title character to prominence by giving her awareness.
Many of the earlier 52 Films in 52 Weeks films were shorter and more experimental, while The Test Case and The Other Woman are a solid pair of exceptions. While they still capture particular moments, as do the majority of these films, they take their time about doing so and thus allow them to expand naturally into their own spaces rather than being confined into a particular shape. While they're still crafted, they feel a lot more relaxed than many of the earlier films, which in this case hides another catastrophe that was averted close to the shoot. The web series episode that covered The Other Woman explained how a key location, the coffee bar, was lost during the week leading up to the shoot, leading to a good deal of scrambling to find a replacement. It also meant an increased financial cost, which highlighted how little Running Wild were spending on these films; their $10,000 Kickstarter budget was split over 52 of them, so averaging only $192 each. That's pretty incredible and it highlights why this series is so important.