Film Review – The Other Woman

The Other Woman (M)

Directed by: Nick Cassavetes

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton

Three stars

Review by: Julian Wright

What does one do when they want to write a script but don’t have any original ideas? They take some from other movies and mash them together. It has been done for decades. The Other Woman is another in the endless list of guilty parties, however, the cast is watchable enough and the laughs are (mostly) fresh enough to warrant a passable film. Writer Melissa Stack has taken elements of Sex and the City and The First Wives Club for another “you go girl” chick flick comedy about women getting mad and even with the guy who has cheated on them.

New York lawyer and serial dater Carly (Cameron Diaz) feels that she may have finally met the man of her dreams in the dreamy Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) after having waded through decades of duds. After two months of dating bliss, her bubble is burst when she discovers he is married to Kate (Leslie Mann) and the two begin an unlikely friendship, supporting each other and ultimately, hatching a plan to get even. The cherry on top of all his lies is that he is cheating on both of them with the much younger Amber (Kate Upton), who they take under their wing and include in their revenge plan.

The Other Woman‘s major strength is Leslie Mann, who steals the film right from under every other actor’s nose. Her character is the most rounded – the dedicated but flaky stay at home wife who supported her husband’s career left to pick up the pieces after taking such a blow. But Mann is able to elicit empathy while delivering the strongest laughs. Diaz appears to not even bother trying to get laughs, she must know she is not there for her comedic talents. Amber is written as the ditzy eye candy but Upton is rarely given the chance to show it. (She hardly ever gets the opportunity to speak).

There are some clichéd revenge sequences – feeding him oestrogen, putting his toothbrush in the toilet. They’re childish and unimaginative – but when they hit him with a laxative we have entered Wayans brothers territory. Possibly the worst scene in this not particularly believable film are knockouts Diaz and Mann pretending to have low self-esteem next to a bikini clad Upton. As if those skinny Minnies have anything to worry about.

Extra characters – Carly’s assistant Lydia (Nicki Minaj) and Kate’s brother Phil (Taylor Kinney) serve to merely extend the running time far beyond a reasonable 90 minutes. But clearly none of this is to be taken seriously, and if taken correctly, this can often be fun. Particularly those who get caught up in the eye for an eye antics.

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