The Other Woman: Revenge Is Served Smokin’ Hot

By Sandra Olmsted

Director Nick Cassavetes teams up again with Cameron Diaz this time for a revenge comedy that offers three often scantily clad female leads — Diaz, Leslie Mann, and Kate Upton — and neatly scripted madcap comedy deftly directed. First time screenwriter Melissa Stack provides a solid backbone for the comedy and plenty of comic moments for Cassavetes to bring to life.

Diaz plays Carly Whitten, a high-powered lawyer who has finally found love with Mark (Danish-born Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), a start-up entrepreneur, until she meets his wife, Kate (Leslie Mann).

3 who become friends after learning they are all involved with the same man.

3 who become friends after learning they are all involved with the same man.

Although Carly now wants nothing to do with “the Mark situation” because she doesn’t believe in wreaking marriages, the distraught Kate shows up at Carly’s office. After making a huge scene until Carly agrees to talk, Kate stalks Carly in a comic way, repeatedly showing up unexpectedly at Carly’s work and home.

Eventually, Carly offers lawyerly advice for Kate to decide what she wants, “get her ducks in a row,” and divorce Mark, if that’s what she wants. Kate vacillates because she wanted the life she was promised, a husband, house in the ‘burbs, kids, and financial security, but eventually wants to make Mark hurt the way she hurts.

The desperate Kate can’t talk to any of her friends in her Connecticut suburb because they will “blab.” As Carly and Kate slowly bond, Carly realizes she should help Kate get revenge, especially when they discover that Mark is “cheating on them both” with the naive Amber (Kate Upton), who turns out to not know that her “soul mate” is a heel.

Kate, who comes off initially as a ditzy housewife, blossoms into a force to be reckoned with, and Mark doesn’t stand a chance being triple teamed by smart, beautiful women who aren’t above fighting dirty. With Amber’s help, they unlock his phone and discover an even more despicable side to him, which Carly might know how to exploit for Kate’s benefit and Mark’s ruin.

For everyone who has been lied to, cheated on, and/or betrayed, The Other Woman offers a fantasy of revenge, and Cassavetes wraps it neatly in delicious slapstick and well-timed wit. The music even plays a humorous role, such as the use of the Mission Impossible theme song during one of the capers to spy on Mark, and New York City and New England look great thanks to Robert Fraisse’s cinematography.

While there are places in The Other Woman that could use a little suspense about whether the Gal Pals will succeed at getting even with Mark, the script’s dialogue is believable and the women characters sympathetic because they have genuine emotional responses. Diaz’s Carly hurts and fears she’ll never find anyone while Mann’s Kate, despite the slapstick silliness, rightly feels confused, hurt, and hopeful.

Diaz again proves her range and gift for comic timing, switching easily from serious moments to the slapstick and witty lines, as does Mann, whose performance is delightful silliness. Upton good-naturedly stand there looking gorgeous as needed, but does show acting ability in the few scenes requiring she actually do something.

While the often over-the-top humor is often unrealistic, the acting allows the viewer to relate to the characters and enjoy the silliness and wit. Coster-Waldau infuses Mark with the right amounts of sleaze and charm. Don Johnson as Carly’s father Frank, Taylor Kinney as Kate’s handsome brother Phil, and Nicki Minaj as Carly’s outspoken secretary Lydia round out the cast with humor, grace, and good looks.

The Other Woman, a Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation release, is in theaters starting April 25, and this adult comedy provides great laughs and a pleasurable escape because, regardless of gender, the audience can enjoy this comedy. The Other Woman is rated PG-13 on appeal for mature thematic material, sexual references and language and runs 109 minutes. More of Olmsted’s reviews are available at <www.thecinematicskinny.com>.



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