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The Other Woman

by Leonard Maltin
April 25, 2014 1:51 AM
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Photo by Barry Wetcher - Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

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 celebrate.

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.

Photo by Barry Wetcher - Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

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.



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  • Rocco | April 28, 2014 1:28 AMReply

    I think it's a bad sign when a film with three female leads doesn't even pass the Bechdel Test. Not evenly the always-likable Leslie Mann could save this.

  • D. J. Fone | April 26, 2014 3:37 PMReply

    This is the kind of movie made by the same marketing idiots who brand cheap wines with labels like "Little Black Dress", "Menage a Trois", etc..

  • vp19 | April 26, 2014 10:32 AMReply

    Is it possible to make a female-oriented comedy today where wit, rather than raunchiness, is predominant? Or is such alleged humor insisted upon by studio suits in order to placate the adolescent male crowds who populate the multiplexes and have an innate skepticism of "chick flicks"? Whatever, this certainly seems a far step down from the likes of "The First Wives Club." If actresses can only get major studio comedies made by settling for junk like this (a script written by a woman!), they should make low-budget films for the art-house circuit instead.

  • Norm | April 25, 2014 6:12 PMReply

    Until people demand more for their money look for more of the same, kinda like Ackroyds epic disaster"Nothing But Trouble", a COMPLETE waste of time and talent, not too mention the bucks...Could be the worst film of all time, for actors who have talent.

  • mike schlesinger | April 25, 2014 5:06 PMReply

    Speaking only for myself, the mere presence of Diaz and Mann is enough to keep me away. And I'm sure Upton is only there for the boob jokes, in both senses of the term. I'd rather watch the very similar THREE IN THE ATTIC again, and that was far from a gem.

  • John Traylor | April 25, 2014 2:28 PMReply

    Just seeing the trailer has convinced me not to waste my time on the turkey. I like Diaz but wish she could get better material.

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