Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Other Woman (2014)

Film: The Other Woman

Starring: Cameron Diaz (Bad Teacher), Leslie Mann (This is 40) and Kate Upton

Director: Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook)

U.S. Release: April 25th, 2014 (Rated PG-13)

Genre: Comedy

Runtime: 109 minutes

While Nick Cassavetes is by no means a legend of Hollywood, the director has made a successful career off of well-received dramas like The Notebook, My Sister's Keeper and John Q. Sentiment has clearly been his "modus operandi". In 2014 Cassavetes returns to the director's chair, but this time he's ditching the dramatics and testing the comedy waters with the female-centered flick The Other Woman.

Cameron Diaz stars as Carly, an independent and attractive lawyer who unexpectedly meets the wife (Leslie Mann) of her latest boyfriend. As the pair of women begin to form an unusual bond, they soon discover yet another mistress (Kate Upton). Therefore, the three deceived ladies plot their revenge and devise a scheme to bring down this habitual adulterer once and for all.

Without question, there are a few discerning flaws in the upcoming "chick-flick" comedy The Other Woman. As a film intended to portray women in a self-sufficient and strong-willed light, director Nick Cassavetes and writer Melissa Stack mold a trio of prototypical onscreen stereotypes. Leslie Mann as the insecure wife and Kate Upton as a brainless sex object, these cartoon-ish characters do nothing but feed into unwarranted generalizations of the modern female, even if they end up victorious by the film's conclusion. Furthermore, Nicki Minaj is given plenty of screen time in her supporting role and, unfortunately, she adds nothing beneficial to the feature. I would suggest sticking to her music career, but even that would be a huge disservice on my part.

For all of its blemishes and miscues, The Other Woman does contain a few redeeming qualities. For example, Diaz, Mann and Upton display a strong sense of camaraderie and chemistry. The trio of ladies work well together and help ease the audience through what could have been a more dreadful hour and 50 minute running time. Instead, a reasonable amount of laugh-out-loud scenes and comedic exchanges propel The Other Woman to a tolerable movie-going experience.

Trying his hand at comedy for the first time, Cassavetes delivers a mediocre effort. There are a few overly-long cuts that arouse an initial chuckle but lose their spark after a couple minutes of the same-old joke. The finale also leaves a little to be desired, but thankfully The Other Woman is by no means an unbearable watch. As a film very much intended for female audiences, speaking to all the men out there, this one could have been a whole lot worse.

Stars: 2 stars out of 4

Grade: C

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