While the story isn't particularly original, and the movie tends to drift over the top into broad slapstick, this comedy wins us over due to the camaraderie between the characters. Most refreshingly, this is a film about women teaming up rather than scratching each others' eyes out. So it continually catches us off guard in all the right ways.
In Manhattan, lawyer Carly (Cameron Diaz) has finally met the perfect man in Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). But just as their relationship is about to shift into something much more serious, she discovers that he has a wife, Kate (Leslie Mann), in the suburbs. Shocked, Carly and Kate realise that Mark is the person they should be angry at, so they team up to get even. When they discover that he has another mistress, Amber (Kate Upton), they recruit her to their plan as well. And then they find evidence that his business dealings are more than a little dodgy.
While the plot lends itself to a blackly comical approach, director Nick Cassavetes instead keeps everything silly and simplistic, letting the actresses overplay their scenes. Sometimes this results in something rather hilarious, but it also undermines any credibility the story might have. Mann and Coster-Waldau are the most guilty in this sense, chomping madly on the scenery. Instead, it's the way each character works together that brings the situations to life and keeps us laughing. Although a more confident approach to the material would have made the film much stronger.
Continue reading: The Other Woman Review
Sure, hubby puts those super-tight abs and intimidating biceps front-and-center. But he's also forced to put Madonna's acting ability up there as well, and the awful truth is that Madonna is an average actress at best. Being as naturally theatrical as she is (and that's a compliment), she excels at stagy roles, as in Evita, but when it comes to the everyday, she comes across as rather limp.
Continue reading: Swept Away (2002) Review
The effort comes off as the work of an ensemble of actors that did their best without qualified leadership. Oddly, they manage to manufacture a scattered level of interest. Given the loose guidance, it's almost a surprise that it works at all.
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Continue reading: Office Killer Review
From its very first scene, "John Q" feels as if it's designed to put a choke leash around your neck so director Nick Cassavetes can give it a good, hard yank whenever he wants you to feel something.
In this opening scene we watch a pretty blonde in a white BMW passing cars on a winding mountain road with a double yellow line. I'm sure I don't have to tell you what's coming, but Cassavetes toys with the viewer, dragging out a couple close calls to make your heart race before -- whammo! Squashed blonde.
What does this have to do with a movie about factory worker Denzel Washington taking over an emergency room at gunpoint to get his dying son a heart transplant? You guessed it -- the girl's an organ donor. But "John Q" doesn't get back to her until 10 minutes before the end of the movie. Cassavetes just puts it at the beginning for shock value.
Continue reading: John Q Review