Fun revenge retread
There is virtually nothing original or surprising about the new in-name-only comedy “The Other Woman.” It steals so liberally from films like “9 to 5,” “First Wives Club,” and the more recent “John Tucker Must Die” that it could be sued for plagiarism. But a women-doing-it-for-themselves revenge comedy will always be welcomed by ladies looking for a fun “girls’ night out.” And when you involve talent like Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and the barely-there bikini clad supermodel Kate Upton, well, the men might be intrigued as well.
A tougher than usual Diaz stars as Carly, a powerhouse attorney who falls for handsome Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), until she finds out he’s a smooth adulterer married to Kate (Leslie Mann, whose weepy mantra is wearing a bit thin). The script by rookie Melissa Stack appears to have been photocopied rather than written, and has Carly and Kate becoming BFFs to unite in a jealous revenge plot against Mark. Along the way they rope in Amber (Upton), Mark’s other fling, for good measure.
Much of the comedy seems forced or improvised on the spot, and it doesn’t really kick into gear until Carly and Kate start working together. Diaz and Mann have great chemistry, and Upton – granted not required to do much but look like the gorgeous woman she is – is perfect as the oblivious blonde. Diaz has always been a charmer and has played the clueless blonde a number of times so it is nice to see her in a more aggressive role. Mann, who has whined plenty in her roles as the crabby wife in husband Judd Apatow’s films, can be really funny. But it’s clear she’s asked to make lemonade out of the overly obvious lemon-flavored contrived gags. Even the music—including sound bites from worn out tunes like “The Mission Impossible” theme to “New York, New York,” lacks flair.
Still, as is the case with all comedies, it comes down to the laugh per minute factor. And there are a few great moments (a beach spying scene) that work better than they have a right to.
Don Johnson and Nicki Minaj have cameos that are interesting in the “Hey, is that so-and-so?” kind of way, while the teamwork of the women, united for a cause more about revenge than empowerment, is reminiscent of the early years of TV’s “Sex and the City.” And that will suit the target audience just fine. And while the PG-13 rated “The Other Woman” is by no means prudish, it is neither as raunchy (nor, quite frankly, as inspired) as the R-rated female comedies “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat.”
Rated PG-13 for sexual references