I enjoy watching Cameron Diaz onscreen, but The Other Woman is not so much a comedy
as an endurance test, even for an admirer like me. It’s stupid at the outset and
just gets dumber; by the midway point I couldn’t wait for it to be over. Talented
comedienne Leslie Mann plays a character so shrill and enervating that this
female-centric movie winds up insulting the very people it purports to
The plot, in sum: successful New York attorney Diaz has a handsome and worldly new boyfriend, played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. After eight weeks of bliss, she discovers that he’s married and accidentally meets his wife (Mann) at their home in Connecticut. Diaz breaks off the relationship, but Mann is a lost soul with nowhere to turn, so she clings to savvy Diaz for help. Later in the improbable story they recruit another victim of Coster-Waldau’s promiscuous ways: sexy, swimsuit-ready Kate Upton.
It would be pointless to dwell on further plot turns because most of them make no sense, even within the boundaries of a farce. At one point, career-oriented Diaz abandons her work to spend days and nights stalking Coster-Waldau with Mann and Upton as they plot their revenge on the cocky womanizer. Part of that revenge, in Melissa Stack’s witless screenplay, involves—wait for it—a laxative!
I don’t demand a great deal from a glossy Hollywood comedy, but it would be nice to find a smarter, more original piece of work than this in the year 2014. Diaz may have felt comfortable with director Nick Cassavetes, who guided her in My Sister’s Keeper, and in the picture’s best moments the women seem genuinely relaxed with each other. But those fleeting moments can’t salvage such a colossally inane, empty-headed movie.