Starring: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton
After discovering that her boyfriend Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is in fact married, Carly (Diaz) vows never to see him again. However, after forming an unlikely friendship with Mark’s wife Kate (Mann), the two decide to follow Mark as he has arranged to meet someone who is neither of them. Upon discovering that he is having yet another affair, with Amber (Upton), they introduce themselves to Amber and all three vow to take revenge on Mark, who is still completely oblivious to any of them knowing the truth.
The apparent gender and sexual politics of The Other Woman has seemed to have caused much heated debate (just look at the imdb message boards), however that is doing a very much undeserved credit to a film that does not even deserve to be spoken about. Firstly, on the gender politics; The Other Woman not only actual fails the Bechdel test anyway, but is supposed to be a comedy, and so isn’t attempting to make any serious points about these things. In fact the characters contradict themselves too much, and the extremely lazy writing makes each and every character so two-dimensional, clichéd and stereotypical that The Other Woman is a film that is offensive to not only both women and men, but anyone who is sentient, with all the characters in no way being a representation of any real life human being.
Then to address the fact that this film is apparently a comedy; it simply is not funny. At any point.
Painfully irritating? Yes. Funny? Never.
I appreciate that comedy is subjective, but the ‘comedy’ in The Other Woman is essentially characters screeching at the top of their voices and the revenge consisting of lazy gags involving the over consumption of laxatives or female hormone’s. The final third tries to go for revenge on a bigger scale, but it is still written with complete laziness and more than a few plot holes.
Of course many people use the phrase ‘target audience’ when it comes to this, and some would argue that as a 30 year old man I am not the supposed ‘target audience’. It is a phrase I never use as it is quite offensive to the intelligence of all in my view. If a film is good I can appreciate that, no matter what the genre, but The Other Woman is the film industry equivalent of pure evil.
Like so many mainstream comedies these days, The Other Woman does not even attempt to give us characters that are likeable or possible to relate to. As per usual they are completely shallow, materialist people who own huge homes and money is never an issue. The characters are made all the more irritating by the performances; Leslie Mann can sometimes be likeable, but here Mrs Apatow just shrieks, screams and generally overacts. Cameron Diaz is pretty much the same, and produces yet another nauseating performance and not to mention yet another stupid face on the poster. The two share obvious chemistry and look like they had a great time making the film, but crucially they forgot about the fun the audience may (not, in this case) have watching them try to out-scream each other. It is pretty obvious that Kate Upton was not cast for her acting ability, and during the few times Mann and Diaz aren’t having a screaming competition she is pretty terrible, and Nicki Minaj is even worse. Meanwhile the men are just walking clichés; from Coster-Waldau’s outright bastard to Tayler Kinney’s painfully clichéd nice guy. Don Johnson also turns up a few times, but don’t worry about that, the script only uses his, and all the other male characters, at its convenience.
From start to finish Melissa Stack’s script is beyond lazy; with plot developments relying on outrageous coincidences, irritatingly unfunny gags that are pure toilet humour and the dialogue riddled with lacklustre clichés and audaciously stereotyped characters. Director Nick Cassavetes also shows no energy in his direction or camera work, and at 109 minutes the film is 20 minutes too long with editing that certainly could have been a little more rigorous. Well, The Other Woman is actually 109 minutes too long and the deeply cynical mindset behind it is yet another example of how mainstream comedies and all involved in them from director to the writer, to the actors to the producers quite happily insult the intelligence of the cinema going public and count their money. Then again The Other Woman made a fair amount of money, so their evil plan seems to be working!
Yet another mainstream comedy made with a deep cynicism and lack of respect for the cinema going public; The Other Woman not only insults both genders with its stereotypes and clichés, but the intelligence of any sentient individual. Not only is this film painfully lacking in comedy or even likeable characters, the cynicism behind it is borderline evil!