D: Nick Cassavetes / 109m
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kate Upton, Don Johnson, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Kinney, David Thornton
When Carly Whitten (Diaz) discovers that her latest boyfriend, Mark (Coster-Waldau) is married, her attempts to move on are hampered by Mark’s wife, Kate (Mann), whose attempts to bond with her leads to their becoming unlikely friends. When they discover that Mark is seeing yet another woman, Amber (Upton), they enlist Amber’s help in getting back at him. Despite her initial intention to make Mark suffer, Kate relents and sleeps with him, which causes a rift between the three women. When Mark takes Kate with him on a trip to the Bahamas, Carly and Amber go along too, giving Kate the opportunity to see that Mark hasn’t changed his ways – they see him with yet another woman – and confirm that he’s been defrauding some of the companies he’s invested in via his work. They use this information to confront Mark and get Kate a divorce, while also exposing his fraudulent activities to his boss Nick (Thornton).
A comedy that relies largely on slapstick for its humour and unconvincing plot developments – Carly really knows Mark’s home address? – The Other Woman is tired almost before it begins, its attempts to be hip, funny, and relevant undermined by a lack of plausible characters and rational dialogue, as well as predictable lashings of girl power. The movie strives to be clever, but it never quite hits the mark, recycling old romantic comedy scenarios and ending with a showdown that requires Coster-Waldau to behave like a human cartoon. It’s also a movie that drags in certain scenes, its running time padded out with unnecessary bits and pieces and extended conversations, leaving the women’s final showdown with Mark feeling hurried and badly set up.
Directing from Melissa Stack’s outdated screenplay, Cassavetes directs capably enough but without bringing anything new or surprising to the material, leaving it to pass muster on its own without any support. Diaz plays Carly with all the commitment of someone filling in before the next, more exciting project, while Mann struggles to elevate Kate beyond stock comedy wife. Upton has little to do, Coster-Waldau is not as horrible as he needs to be, and Johnson’s role could have been played by anyone, so generic is it.
Rating: 4/10 – another disappointment in the rom-com arena, with no rom- and in dire need of decent -com, The Other Woman is dissatisfying and undercooked; a waste of everyone’s time and talent, and with a particularly ponderous script to reinforce how bland it is.