The Other Women…I mean ‘The Other Woman’ (Movie Review)
The Other Woman: 1 ½ out of 5
Lydia: The best part about being pretty is that you don’t have to work hard.
Three grown woman find out they are sharing the same guy and become friends with a mission to have their silly revenge. Admittedly I do not have a whole lot of tolerance for these kinds of movies. I am not talking about ‘chick flicks’, as there are plenty of ‘chick flicks’ that I enjoy and would recommend. I am talking about dumb movies that exist to provide some laughs, maybe, but are instantly forgotten and have only one real trick up their sleeve and that’s to convince movie goers to have spent their money on it to begin with. To be completely fair, The Other Woman has a big enough performance from Leslie Mann to likely elicit plenty of smiles and make it feel like harmless fun, but also keep in mind that this film that features three female leads that never stop talking about boys. There are also all the slow-mo boob shots and poop jokes too, which the movie definitely enjoys featuring.
Cameron Diaz stars as Carly, a professional lawyer in a new relationship with successful business man Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). As this relationship is shown to us while the title is displayed during the opening credits, it should come as no surprise to learn that Mark is a married man. Carly inadvertently reveals the affair to Mark’s wife, Kate (Leslie Mann), who is understandably upset and has her own way of dealing with it: befriending her husband’s mistress. Soon Kate and Carly are hanging out together, only to discover that Mark has another mistress, Amber (Kate Upton), which leads to a new plan. The three ladies become pals out to get back at the cheating man at the center of all of this.
I want to get back to slow-mo boob shots and poop jokes, as this movie really seems to want to cash in on those aspects. The Other Woman was directed by Nick Cassavetes, who also brought audiences The Notebook and My Sister’s Keeper. The film was written by Melissa Stack who is basically a rookie in the film world. At some point, the two of them devised scenes that emphasize how attractive Kate Upton is, enough so that we have many scenes involving her ample endowments. At another point, these two found that the best way to create humor involved having a giant great dane take a dump on the floor of an apartment, only to be topped by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau having an explosive toilet scenario. Not every movie needs to be sophisticated and clever, but it also stands to reason that an opportunity was missed, when it comes to seeing one of the few movies being released in this time period to have a cast of female leads and have them do nothing more than approach scenes in a manner that suggests the direction of, “do what the boys do.”
Here is the thing, I am happy to acknowledge that girls can be funny, gross, silly, or whatever and make that work in a film. It still needs to work though and my issue with The Other Woman is that it doesn’t work. Do these women have chemistry together? Kinda. Diaz does little beyond react to other actors in the film, Kate Upton brings up the energy, once she turns the group into a trifecta and adds her spin on ditziness to the equation, and Leslie Mann is easily the highlight, as she has always had a knack for comedic material. With all of that said, it does not add up to much. Save for some one-liners here and there and a committed physical performance by Mann, The Other Woman feels sloppily written, poorly directed, and compromised in places in order to achieve its PG-13, sacrificing any real edge it might have had. I guess this was needed though, as teenagers surely need a way to see three adult women deal with the harsh realities of adultery in the form of a farce. And did I mention slow-mo boob shots and poop jokes?
If this adds anything, I should note that Don Johnson and Nicki Minaj round out the cast. One is a womanizer and the other is a former man-eater/sassy black secretary. They don’t add much of anything to the film, but when else would I have been able to mention Johnson and Minaj in the same sentence (twice)? That statement was about as unnecessary as this movie is in its entirety.
Carly: If we find any more mistresses I’m going to have to send her to rehab.