Nobody's Laughing With 'The Other Woman', Least Of All The Critics
"The Other Woman" is taking a beating in reviews this week.
The Other Woman, starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Man, Nikolaj-Coster Waldau and Kate Upton in her acting debut, is yet to be released in cinemas, but is already floundering in the review department. The film lays on the clichés with a heavy hand – Coster-Waldau is the uber-confident, uber-annoying cheating husband, Mann is his neurotic wife, Diaz is his mistress and Upton is his younger mistress. Neither of the women knows about the other two. Until they find out, that is. The biggest twist to recommend this movie is that instead of the plot devolving into the tired old catfight cliché, the three band together to get even with the cheater. They go on a vengeance rampage, presumably because that’s what the writers think scorned women do.
The Other Woman shoots for originality, but ultimately stops at mediocrity.
The LA Times’ review gives credit where credit is due – the plot isn’t all that original, but the easy laughs are still abundant, at least in the beginning. Unfortunately, at some point The Other Women significantly dumbs down both its characters and its story, making it hard to watch through to the end. “Slyness, slapstick and sex can often be mixed to amusing effect whatever the specifics — the original "Hangover," for example, did a credible job of it — but "The Other Woman" is ultimately undone by its indecision,” writes Betsey Sharkey.
CM’s own Rich Cline gives the film a rather favorable review, mostly due to the camaraderie between the main characters. Read the full review here.
TIME’s Richard Corliss mostly scorns the film for the same reasons – "The Other Woman" leans too heavily on clichés, even going for a few dog gags when the story stalls. Its leads seem uncomfortable in the parts they’ve been given. “The female revenge comedy is as old as Lysistrata (411 B.C.) and, in movies, as fitfully popular as 9 to 5 (1980) and The First Wives Club (1996). So no one begrudges the racy, PG-13 rated The Other Woman for offering its comeuppance scenario…”
The movie lends itself to a lot of those comparisons, thanks to the trope of the scorned wife. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Diaz, Mann or even the likeable Kate Upton, who is mostly relegated to set décor in this film, can hold a candle to the likes of Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn or Jane Fonda. Maybe Nicki Minaj, who apparently steals the show as Carly’s secretary Lydia, has some chance. “. Here’s someone who enjoys a job she doesn’t feel the need to excel in — “It’s like having a hobby that pays well” — and dispenses the working-girl wisdom that “Selfish people live longer.” In her first onscreen movie role (after voice work in Ice Age: Continental Drift), the rapper proves herself star material,” Corliss writes.
Is the stakeout classic? Or just cliche?
Todd McCarthy from The Hollywood Reporter sums it up nicely. A female solidarity adultery comedy that's three parts embarrassing farce to one part genuinely comic discharge," notes McCarthy. "It would have helped if director Nick Cassavetes had something resembling a sure hand at comedy."