DIR: Nick Cassavetes • WRI: Melissa Stack • PRO: Julie Yorn • DOP: Robert Fraisse • ED: Jim Flynn, Alan Heim • MUS: Aaron Zigman • DES: Dan Davis • CAST: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton, Nicki Minaj
When former party girl Carly (Cameron Diaz) discovers that her Mr Perfect beau Mark has a wife, Kate (Leslie Mann), the women scorned set out to tear down the man that betrayed them both. Introduce yet another mistress Amber (Kate Upton) and you have a recipe for this year’s best slapstick comedy. Or so the makers behind this debacle obviously thought.
Clearly trying to capitalise on the success of 2011’s female-centric comedy Bridesmaids, director Nick Cassavettes and writer Melissa Stack apparently thought that getting a group of women together and putting them through numerous farcical sets followed by a couple of epiphanies and a switcheroo on the other woman genre would be original enough to garner critical praise and couple of hundred million at the box office.
They seemed to have forgotten however that the magic of Bridesmaids was the clever script and the always amusing interplay between the characters. In The Other Woman every scene feels like they are just biding time until they move on to the next slapstick gag. These gags include hair removal dumped into Mark’s shampoo, oestrogen in morning shakes and laxatives in drinks, and then we are expected to laugh for five minutes as the aftermath unfolds. These scenes, slightly funny as some of them may be, cannot do enough to save The Other Woman from its meandering script. It clearly cannot decide what sort of movie it wants to be. It has been advertised as a raucous comedy promoting female empowerment and the first hour tries to run with that as much as it can, but it inadvertently slides away from this by the end of the film.
The performances are fine with Diaz probably playing the most straight of the three women and anchoring the irrational life questioning of Mann’s Kate and the naive absent-mindedness of Upton’s Amber (whose acting skills would be severely questioned only for the fact that she was aptly cast as a bimbo). Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is a lot of fun as the smarmy, philandering Mark and Nicki Minaj churns out a surprisingly good comedic performance as Carly’s colleague with questionable morals.
The ‘women scorned’ concept and the likeability of Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann are sure to make this one a modest box-office success at the very least, while the inclusion of Kate Upton and finding clever ways to have her in a bikini for half the movie will also bring some men to the cinema. Unfortunately, however, there are far too many flaws for the vast majority to get over to enjoy this one.
12A (See IFCO for details)
The Other Woman is released on 23rd April 2014