The Other Woman Movie Review
Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton join forces to persecute the man who has played them all, and more seriously to subject you to a mess of a movie called The Other Woman. What the Blu-ray cover describes as "Hilarious!" is actually a demonstration in desperation and tonal inconsistencies.
Diaz plays a successful businesswoman who learns that the man she is falling in love with, Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), is actually married to someone else (Mann). The two scorned women become unlikely friends and allies, especially when they discover that Mark is cheating on them with yet another—and much younger—woman (Kate Upton).
Is The Other Woman a revenge comedy? Or a drama about female resilience and strength?
I have no damned idea, but how could I? Director Nick Cassavetes and writer Melissa Stack clearly don't know.
The Other Woman is a sporadically funny but consistently disappointing "comedy" that tries way too hard to evoke a few bits of laughter and make you care about these women. Had the movie opted to be a comedy—and it's obvious by the trailer, Blu-ray cover and other materials that 20th Century Fox wanted it to be a comedy—the premise could have worked. As a drama, it also could have worked.
As is... what the hell.
At its most basic level, The Other Woman attempts to be a revenge comedy. It fails, but it attempts to be. The scorned women team up to sabotage their man, typically in slapstick fashion—they give him estrogen pills, laxatives and hair loss cream to make his life a living hell. But in the scheme of things, he doesn't really notice, at least once the filmmakers abandon that angle and move onto something else.
In the third and most painful act, Cassavetes turns the movie into some kind of off kilter drama, complete with sweeping music and slow motion. After struggling to evoke laughter from his audience, he appears to just give up completely and take the movie in a different direction. Even worse, the film climaxes with a strangely violent altercation with Mark that doesn't mesh with the rest of the movie.
As far as the lead actresses go, all three women struggle with the material. Upton isn't given much to do, but it's literally painful to watch Diaz desperately scrape for something, anything, to latch onto you. The typically reliable Mann is a little better, but even she seems out of her element.
The same can be said for the movie as a whole. The Other Woman is all over the place, and that's code for saying the movie is a complete fucking mess. Excuse my language, but it's a complete fucking mess. There, I said it.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.