It’s truly pathetic when a movie’s marketing makes it look nothing like the actual movie just to give it some appeal. Such is the case with The Other Woman. The concept presented in the trailers makes it look decent: a woman discovers that her boyfriend is married. With the help of the wife and another unsuspecting mistress, the three woman take comedic revenge on the cheater. If that was the movie that The Other Woman was, then it wouldn’t be all that bad – but that’s not it at all.
The Other Woman has no identity. It doesn’t know what kind of movie it wants to be and it surely doesn’t know which of the characters is playing the lead. First, there’s Cameron Diaz.
Like every male that saw The Mask as a teenager, I thought that Cameron Diaz was “smokin'” – but let’s be honest, nearly 20 years have passed and she’s still trying to play the super sexy and desirous young lady that she used to be. After watching her do graphically unforgettable things to the windshield of a car in last year’s The Counselor, I can’t get that revolting, disgusting and trashy image of her out of my mind. Just as she bounces around from innocent to nasty roles in films, so flip-flops her character in The Other Woman. Carly is a successful businesswoman who’s disgusted when she learns that her seemingly perfect boyfriend Mark (the incestuous blondie from Game of Thrones) is actually a married man. She’s deeply traumatized by the realization, yet completely rude and unhelpful to his wounded puppy-of-a-wife when she comes around asking questions. This goes on for a while. One hour, to be exact. It isn’t until we get to the one-hour mark that an actual plot unravels. The first 60 minutes slowly shows Carly back-and-forth befriend and belittle the unsuspecting spouse.
Judd Apatow’s wife Leslie Mann plays the cheated-on housewife, Kate. If you’ll think back to This is 40, Judd and Leslie’s real-life daughters played Leslie’s daughters in the movie. If you saw This is 40, you won’t forget them because they were single-note annoying characters with no acting merit whatsoever. It’s now obvious where they get it from. Leslie Mann is one of those actors who thinks that everything she does is hilarious. Obviously, director Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook) and whoever edited The Other Woman think so too. Every moment that she’s on-screen is annoying and way too long. They just let her run with her stupid gags and ramblings, each time sounding just like the moment before it. Her character is so poorly written and portrayed that it’s unclear whether she’s a dumb stay-at-home wife or a really dumb stay-at-home wife. I’m shocked that a screenplay written by a woman could portray a leading female as such a weak, powerless and feeble being. It’s pathetic.
At the 60 minute mark, Carly and Kate find out about the hubby’s third mistress, Amber (Kate Upton). Just like Mann’s character, it’s never clear what Amber is all about. It’s as if the studio “stunt cast” her just to obtain a male audience, but when she turned out to be a bad actress, they chopped all of her lines and screentime down to a bare minimum. Once she and her excessive cleavage enter the picture (it’s serious embarrassing how much she’s exploited), the movie finally gets to its concept – but just barely. The trio form a pact to deny the cheater sex and to start pulling cruel pranks on him. Unfortunately, only a few pranks are ever conceived – all of which are spoiled in the movie’s trailer. Which takes us right up to the movie’s long, drawn-out and completely unfitting ending. I won’t reveal the ending, but know that it’s horrible. Absolutely horrible. It undermines the tone of the entire movie up to this point with unexpected bursts of bloody, blunt violence that’s meant to be comical.
I wouldn’t have minded The Other Woman had it been what the ads make it out to be. I wish it had actually earned more than just a handful of laughs. Women are going to be suckered out to it this weekend and, because of Kate Upton, their male dates will gladly go with them – but no matter the motive for seeing The Other Woman, all who see it are going to leave severely disappointed in the decision.
(Photo credit: 20th Century Fox)