Friday, April 25, 2014

Movie Review: ‘The Other Woman’

* out of 5
109 minutes
Rated PG-13 on appeal for mature thematic material, sexual references and language
Twentieth Century Fox

Article first published as Movie Review: ‘The Other Woman’ (2014) on Blogcritics.

Same as the Oscars only come once a year, so do the Razzies. And if there was ever an early candidate, it has to be The Other Woman. From first time screenwriter Melissa Stack, this is the kind of movie that makes me realize why Hollywood is so obsessed with remakes, reboots, and sequels. Bereft of an inkling of originality, The Other Woman wallows in romantic-comedy tropes never finding itself above a poop, fart, or vomit joke. Instead, we find a trio of leading ladies with nothing left to do but pratfalls and trying to make crying funny. When a chick flick fan complains the movie’s boring, you’ve got some major problems.

The Other Woman, Kate Upton, Cameron Diaz, Leslie MannCarly (Cameron Diaz) is a seemingly high-powered attorney in New York City who may have just met the man of her dreams in Mark (Game of Thrones’ not-Denis Leary, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Swept up in the romance, Carly has cleared her roster of men, much to the surprise of her assistant Lydia (Nicki Minaj). While Carly may think Mark could be “the one,” she soon finds out that she’s not Mark’s only one when she blunders upon his wife Kate (Leslie Mann). Soon enough, Kate shows up at Carly’s office hoping to find out she’s wrong about her new suspicions, and now the two quickly become besties. It doesn’t take long before the two find out that Mark is also sleeping with the busty Amber (Kate Upton) and after an hour of runtime, finally throw in a bit about teaching Mark a lesson.

Considering it takes so long to plod along to any kind of plot shows the amount of padding. And when Kate Upton manages to come across as one of the more likeable characters — considering she has zero acting experience — you have a whole other set of problems. But alas, director Nick Cassavetes (best known as the director of The Notebook) never puts any kind of leash on Diaz or Mann. While Mann may be able to improv with the best of them when she’s in one of her husband Judd Apatow’s films, she’s hugely wasted and rarely funny.

Diaz plays Carly as an uptight bitch who thinks Kate is in the wrong for confronting her in the first place and all you ever want to do is punch her in the face. The only actors who remain unscathed by the ridiculous where-are-they-now pre-credits freeze frames, are Upton, Don Johnson (who plays Diaz’ father), and Taylor Kinney as Mann’s brother. An early scene features Kate on a rant about needing to attend “brain camp,” but the only person who really needs to is screenwriter Stack. The bottom line is The Other Woman is an easy contender for worst film of the year.

Photo courtesy Twentieth Century Fox

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