Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Other Woman: Movie Review

The Other Woman: Movie Review

Cast: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Don Johnson
Director: Nick Cassavettes

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Well, in this latest comedy, it's three women - so you can bet your bottom dollar, that's a truckload of scorning to come...

Cameron Diaz stars as ice queen lawyer Carly, who's in the early throes of an idyllic relationship with the hunky Mark (Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). He's the guy who shows up with flowers at work, a sparkling smile and a mischievous glint - and Carly's fallen hard.

But, trouble hits paradise when Carly discovers Mark's married - to the slightly needy, neurotic and clingy Kate (Leslie Mann, one of the best things in this romcom). With her instincts being to run a mile, Carly's blindsided when Kate goes all Cable Guy on her, forms a friendship and confides in her - and things get even more complicated when Kate and Carly find Mark's cheating on all of them with a third mistress, Amber (Sports Illustrated swimsuit star Kate Upton, complete with obligatory slow mo bikini run).

All three vow to take revenge....

The Other Woman is clearly a chick-flick that has parallels to the film John Tucker Must Die. But it also has a couple of secret weapons to ensure the male part of the audience / poor suckers being dragged along don't feel shortchanged.

Firstly, the slightly wooden Kate Upton.

Clearly a marketing ploy by bringing in a topless Kate Upton in a white bikini in slow-motion on the beach is aimed at giving the male sector of the audience something to engage with in this female bizarre bonding piece (even if it does fail given the relative stiffness of her performance). Though, once the initial appeal to half the prospective audience has gone out, she proffers little to the proceedings.

Secondly, Leslie Mann.

Her comic timing and ever-so-slightly OTT performance provides some much needed welcome relief which is few and far between - aside from vomiting into handbags and obligatory crowd pleasing diarrhea sequence as the nasty old philanderer starts to get his comeuppance (if that's your kind of thing). But Mann pitches a kind of middle ground between genuine bitterness, despair and lust for revenge as she rolls through the gamut of emotions. And to be frank, she's never less than watchable as the predictable plot and inevitable revenge games (laxative, oestrogen poisoning) get underway.

Cameron Diaz is in a thankless role as the wronged woman and she soldiers on regardless, offering a watchable turn that seems off kilter with the material. The worst offender though is Nikolaj Coster-Waldau aka Jaime Lannister who goes so far OTT once the diarrhea scene kicks in and in his final moments that you wonder what on earth the director Cassavettes was thinking in not asking him to dial it back a notch.

If you like relatively brainless fare and feel like grabbing a group of girls together for a night out after pre-loading, you will find yourself amused thanks to some fleeting moments. Though if sober be aware The Other Woman lacks any real kind of bite and is more a cinematic beating than an insightfully amusing and comic movie on cheating.


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