THE OTHER WOMAN
* (out of 5)
April 25, 2014
Cameron Diaz as CARLY WHITTEN
Leslie Mann as KATE KING
Nikolaj Coster-Waldua as MARK KING
Don Johnson as FRANK
Kate Upton as AMBER
Taylor Kinney as PHIL
Nicki Minaj as LYDIA
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Directed by: Nick Cassavetes
BY KEVIN CARR
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If the story set-up to “The Other Woman” sounds familiar – three women band together to seek revenge on their cheating boyfriend/husband – it’s because it shamelessly rips off a slate of films that came before it. Most recently, it reminds me of “John Tucker Must Die,” a somewhat raunchy teen romp that came out eight years ago featuring a group of high school girls getting revenge on the jock who played all of them.
The difference with “The Other Woman” is that instead of teenagers, it features a terrible script spotlighting shrill women in their 40s… and Kate Upton… and Kate Upton’s boobs.
It’s not like “John Tucker Must Die” was a great movie to begin with, but it was cute enough with a natural breezy spin to the teen comedy. However, when you age the characters 25 years and make them decision-making adults, the whole concept just becomes pathetic.
The stars of the film are Cameron Diaz as the girlfriend, Leslie Mann as the wife and Kate Upton as the young, hot mistress. With the exception of Diaz who is barely passable in this film, the casting is atrocious. Kate Upton is given so few lines that’s it’s clear the producers only wanted her in the role for two big reasons.
And then there’s Leslie Mann, who has miraculously been able to get steady work as a put-upon wife over the years. It’s bad enough that I have to tolerate her in every damn Judd Apatow film because he insists on casting her (and his annoying children) in everything he makes. Now, I have to deal with her screeching nature throughout other films as well.
Can we stop trying to make Leslie Mann happen? She was cute once, but as soon as the allure of her 20s wore off on her, we’re left with a shrill she-demon whose only go-to positions of acting is glass-shattering obnoxiousness or bitter hatred for everyone else in her life.
Most of the film falls on Diaz and Mann’s shoulders, and neither of them are particularly good at slapstick or improv. Watching these too-numerous attempts at knee-slapping scenes gave me flashbacks to Diaz’s truly terrible girl empowerment movie “The Sweetest Thing” from 2002. You remember that film? The one that had a million dollar bidding war for the script and barely made back half of its budget from domestic ticket sales?
If you liked “The Sweetest Thing,” I suppose you’ll like Diaz and Mann in this painfully miscast and poorly scripted film about women who inexplicably find themselves in a prison of their own design.
So much about this film is uninspired, from the shameless rip-offs of films like “9 to 5” (which is a brilliant female empowerment movie, though it’s about unfairness at the work place rather than in the bedroom) to the cliche music rights song book used to score the film (featuring such overused classics as the “Mission: Impossible” theme and “New York, New York”).
Finally – and here’s where I risk stepping into a bear trap – this film is desperately trying to keep Diaz as a sex symbol and failing, just as “Knight and Day” unsuccessfully tried to do with her and Tom Cruise. In a bizarre way, you can look at “The Other Woman” as a cosmetic surgery cautionary tale. Not only do you have Leslie Mann with stretched skin around her eyes from too many face lifts, but you have Cameron Diaz sporting cheeks that look like there have been golf balls implanted under the skin… and to make things worse, Mann’s character complains to Diaz’s character in one scene about women with cheek implants. This movie doth protest too much, methinks.
Rounding out the insane plastic surgery on parade is Don Johnson as Diaz’s father, sporting a face that looks like it maybe has 25 percent original tissue, turning him into a diminutive Kenny Rogers, as well as Nicki Minaj (playing the Kim Kardashian character from “Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor”) who looks like porcelain doll that has come to life (and not in a good way).
“The Other Woman” may win the weekend and eke out box office success, but that’s not an indication that it’s a piece of quality work in any respect.