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Sunday, April 27, 2014


About The Movie:

In The Other Woman, we meet attorney Carly Whitten (Cameron Diaz), a powerhouse career gal who can never invest in relationships – that is until she meets her perfect match in Mark King (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). However, when Carly tries to surprise Mark with a kinky late-night visit, she’s the one who instead gets a surprise: Mark has a wife named Kate (Leslie Mann).

At first the meeting is incredibly awkward and horrifying, but plucky Kate can’t help but admire the other woman in her husband’s life, and the two quickly become “the weirdest friends, ever.” Once united, the ladies set their sights on payback against Mark; but as the dig deeper they find more lies and more mistresses – like the voluptuous Amber (Kate Upton) – hiding in the wings. Determined to bring down the man who has been stringing them along, Carly, Kate and Amber scheme to pull off a takedown for the ages – if their girl power can just withstand a bad boy’s charm long enough.

What Is Good/Bad About The Movie:

The most remarkable woman in The Other Woman is a Mann. Leslie Mann, specifically. After swiping scenes after scene in movie after movie , the wickedly funny Mann finally receives a multi-faceted role that takes advantage of all the wonderful things she usually brings to a movie. 

You wouldn’t know it by the marketing campaign which focuses on the bankable (Cameron Diaz) and beautiful (Kate Upton) female co-stars, but The Other Woman centers around Mann’s character, Kate King. Kate lives the preppy catalogue dream. She lives in a Restoration Hardware home, shops among the other Stepford wives at Whole Foods Market, and complains to her chiseled, wealthy husband, Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), that she probably has to go to “brain camp” because she can’t retain the trivial details of her vapid, empty days. Kate doesn’t realize she’s occupying a social coma until reality comes around and shakes her out of it.

That occurs when Carly Whitten (Diaz) knocks on Kate’s door. You see, Carly is sleeping with Mark, and has been for months. (“Gun to my head, probably 50 times,” Carly confesses to Kate when asked how many times she and Mark have screwed. Kate’s pricelessly incredulous response? “Don’t you have a job?!”) Carly had no idea Mark was married, and the women slowly bond over the fact that they both got played by the same sleazy man. Then they realize, in horror, that they aren’t the only ones.

Diaz is asked to keep it in one angry gear for the duration of The Other Woman. She’s mad that her relationship with Mark was a sham because she feels she has wasted precious time on a man who can’t deliver her happiness. She’s mad that she now has to babysit the blubbering mess that is Kate, even though the faux screenplay turns them into friends by the film’s halfway mark. And when The Other Woman introduces sunny, shapely supermodel Upton as Marks other “other mistress,” Diaz is mad that she’s no longer the hottest, youngest blonde in the story. There’s a legitimate reason for bringing Upton’s character, Amber, into the plot. However, once she’s on display, the movie stops trying to make sense, and Upton’s acting ability consists of looking outstanding in a bikini.

The biggest casting talking point is how pop-culture sensations Kate Upton and Nicki Minaj do in their first major screen roles. Upton’s part is tailored to make the best of her limited range (lots of simple sight gags, very little dialogue or heavy emoting); meanwhile, Minaj plays a fitting-but-typical sassy girlfriend role, and really needs to work on enunciating her lines (at times it’s like trying to read a ventriloquist’s lips). Having the pair of them in the cast is somewhat distracting, and The Other Woman is already bogged down with secondary characters and storylines, so it’s good that Upton and Minaj’s screen time is limited. Little doses go a long way in their case.

In the end, The Other Woman is a semi-successful femme comedy showcase hampered by its own rom-com conventions, which undercut any real intelligent or insightful thematic messages, feminist or otherwise. Still, the Leslie Mann comedy showcase is alone worth watching, and her and Diaz manage to make a frenemy love story that’s nearly  as worthwhile. It’s not at all mandatory theater viewing, but as far as date night goes, both guys and gals will find themselves in pretty good hands with this one.

Overall Grade: C+

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