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|The Other Woman|
dir Nick Cassavetes
scr Melissa K Stack
prd Julie Yorn
with Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Don Johnson, Taylor Kinney, Nicki Minaj, David Thornton, Alyshia Ochse, Victor Cruz, Madison McKinley, Colin Bannon
release UK 23.Apr.14, US 25.Apr.14
14/US Fox 1h49
Girls just wanna have fun: Mann, Diaz and Upton
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
Even though most of the comedy is overplayed, this film is packed with hilarious moments that keep us smiling, plus terrific camaraderie between the three lead actresses. It's not a particularly original story, but it's told from a refreshing female perspective that twists expectations.
Manhattan lawyer Carly (Diaz) thinks she's finally met the perfect man in Mark (Coster-Waldau), even setting up a meeting between Mark and her dad (Johnson). Then she discovers that Mark has a wife, Kate (Mann), back home in the suburbs. But Carly and Kate realise that they have no reason to hate each other. And when they discover that Mark has yet another mistress, Amber (Upton), the three team up to teach him a lesson. As if Mark's love-rat behaviour wasn't bad enough, he's also involved in dodgy business dealings.
Much of this is played out for broad slapstick value, which is a risky approach because it's virtually impossible to get right all of the time. There are some hilarious moments of physical humour, thanks for the always up-for-it Diaz and Mann, but a bit more restraint might have made the whole film hang together more consistently, especially if it had a stronger black-comedy tone. Instead, most scenes drift over the top into broad silliness, which is funny but not always engaging.
While Diaz and Upton rein in the nuttiness, Mann and Coster-Waldau go for broke, chomping merrily on any scenery they can sink their teeth into. This occasionally works, mainly because it generates some sympathy for the frazzled, desperate Kate and makes us loathe the otherwise charming Mark even more. We've also got Minaj on board to spice things up with sassy one-liners, and two balancing love interests: Kinney as Kate's hot brother and Johnson as Carly's silver-fox dad.
None of this is remotely sophisticated, but director Cassavetes orchestrates some terrific moments between Diaz, Mann and Upton that nicely add to the current trend of undermining male-dominated cinema. Yes, this is a movie about sisters doing it for themselves, taking control and showing the men who's boss. Although of course, in the end, they still need a man to snuggle up to as they watch the sun set over a picturesque beach. It may not be realistic, but we can dream.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2014 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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