When Carly set out to surprise her boyfriend, she didn’t expect his wife to answer the door. Three very annoyed woman and one idiotic man feature in The Other Woman. Review after the jump.
Carly (Cameron Diaz) was on cloud 9. She’d recently started dating the rather handsome and charming Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and she was beginning to feel like this guy might be more than a fling. When Mark unexpectedly cancels on meeting Carly, she decides to show up and surprise him at his house. Imagine her surprise when his wife, Kate (Leslie Mann), who she had no idea existed, answers his door. The next day Kate tracks down Carly to find out the deal and the two realise he has played them both. Unexpectedly a friendship is born, and when a 2nd mistress is discovered (Amber, played by Kate Upton), the ladies decide to get their revenge. Kate deserves better than Mark, and Carly and Amber are going to make sure that she’s the one who comes out on top.
The Other Woman is successful as a comedy film, in that it makes you laugh. This may seem like an absurd statement to make, however I find that so-called “comedies” of late often fail to raise even a few chuckles; so when one comes along with consistent laughs throughout, I’m quite happy. Diaz and Mann are funny women and the revenge storyline created a multitude of scenarios where they could show off their comedic chops. The two have fantastic on-screen chemistry and I enjoyed the scenes they shared. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who was excellent in the brilliant dark comedy Headhunters is a good sport here, but I wish he had a little more to do. A set piece involving him unknowingly taking a laxative is one of the best gags of its type. My sides actually ached from laughing.
My biggest grumble about The Other Woman is Kate Upton’s character. Sure she was there to be the “bimbo mistress”, but really, did they have to portray her as so frivolous and dense? As incredible as it may seem, women can be funny, smart and good-looking. These three things are not mutually exclusive. Amazing right? Upton’s character was extremely lazy writing. Although I enjoyed Mann’s performance, her character seemed to suffer from an identity crisis. I think she was supposed to be absent-minded, but she came across as being rather unbalanced one moment and completely in control the next. While there are faults in the screenplay, director Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook, My Sister’s Keeper) also has to shoulder some of the blame. The music choices and the way the music was edited was so incredibly clunky, it was like being hit awkwardly with some bricks. For example, The Mission Impossible theme music playing during a spying/car stalking scene was just too much. While there are plenty of laughs, at 109 minutes the film does over stay its welcome and lags a bit in the latter stages.
It’s worth watching just to see Nikolaj Coster-Waldau take a laxative, but The Other Woman is a mixed bag overall.
By Sam McCosh
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Writer(s): Melissa Stack
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Runtime: 109 minutes
Release date(s): Australia & New Zealand: April 17 2014; USA: April 25 2014