Home Year 2014 The Other Woman (2014)

The Other Woman (2014)

"Game of Thrones fans... I'm sorry. Here, have some wine and flowers."
“Game of Thrones fans… I’m sorry. Here, have some wine and flowers.”

Twitter Plot Summary: Three women discover the man they’re seeing has been cheating on them, so they seek revenge.

Five Point Summary:

1. Well that was awkward.
2. Nicky Minaj can’t open her jaw, apparently.
3. Kate Upton, clearly not cast because of her acting abilities.
4. Revenge plans kick in.
5. An amusing joke! And then the film ends.

It seems that writing films specifically for a female audience is an incredibly difficult process. With the exception of Bridesmaids a couple of years ago, it’s difficult to name any other films in recent years that have successfully nailed the formula and provided believable women in an entertaining setting. Despite its marketing campaign trying to prove otherwise, The Other Woman is a resounding failure, trying to portray women as strong and independent but instead making them out to be insecure and willing to forgive male indiscretions because they apparently can’t do better for themselves. They do of course realise that they can do better through a series of somewhat unbelievable plot contrivances, but it’s a long time in arriving.

It’s a story that stretches credulity in the first place, with Leslie Mann’s Kate discovering that her husband has been having an affair with Cameron Diaz’s Carly, and then both of them soon realise he’s also hooked up with Kate Upton’s Amber and, it turns out, many more women besides. Joining forces, the three of them hatch a plan to get revenge on Mark (Game of Thrones’ Nicholas Coster-Waldau) for his lying, cheating and stealing. The friendship between Kate and Carly does develop well despite the unusual circumstances which it begins under, and both Mann and Diaz are strong performers who invest in making this screen friendship work. This is perhaps the only positive point to draw, so let’s explore the negatives shall we?

The revenge aspect of the narrative – which you would expect to play the biggest role – doesn’t kick in until over an hour in, and before it has time to become something genuinely funny, we’re lumbered once again with female indecisiveness and yet more unnecessarily shrill conversations that lead to a cliche and all too convenient finale.

She realised far too late that her jaw had been wired shut.
She realised far too late that her jaw had been wired shut.

Kate Upton has almost zero acting ability, so we should be grateful that the script gives her very little to do beyond smile and look good in a bikini. Similarly a brief cameo from Nicky Minaj as Carly’s receptionist is ruined by her jaw apparently being wired shut – she talks as if she’s a ventriloquist’s dummy who has been magically brought to life and given a film role.

What The Other Woman needs, beyond a page one rewrite, is its running time trimmed to a more manageable 90-100 minutes (comedies running beyond their natural limit is all Judd Apatow’s fault), a tighter focus and development of the female relationships, and more emphasis on seeking revenge for Mark’s infidelity. Surely they could have come up with some more entertaining methods of getting their own back beyond the three or four ideas we get to see?

A couple of half decent jokes aside, namely the trio discretely feeding Mark laxatives and oestrogen, and him constantly walking into clear glass walls thinking there’s nothing there, come far too late to save it from being a trainwreck, and a greater effort on introducing actual jokes in the first two acts would have gone a long way towards saving the production. In one scene Kate’s dog decides to relieve himself on the apartment floor. As far as critical commentary goes, his analysis of The Other Woman is spot on.

Score: 1/5

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