The Other Woman follows in the footsteps of The First Wives Club, and Bridesmaids.
The 2011 breakout hit Bridesmaids seems to have made a permanent shift in gender dynamics of big Hollywood comedies. No longer happy to exist as idealised love interests, women are finally taking over. Bridesmaids scene-stealer Melissa McCarthy flexed her muscles further opposite Sandra Bullock in the buddy action-comedy The Heat.
And now Cameron Diaz pushes boundaries with her new comedy The Other Woman, which lays to rest the usual bitch-slap storyline. In this film, when a woman (Leslie Mann) discovers that her husband (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is having an affair or two, instead of take on the other woman in a battle to the death, the wife teams up with his two mistresses (Diaz and Kate Upton) to get even.
This is fairly unprecedented in movie history: women who would normally be at each others' throats instead finding a strong camaraderie that lets them turn the tables of power. Even the memorable 1996 comedy The First Wives Club featured women (Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton) who were defined by their men. But in The Other Woman, it's the men who need a female to make sense of their own lives.
Sure, the final act shows a bit of Hollywood interference as various romantic entanglements spring up to give these women a man to cling to. But it's a pretty bold next step in the process. And it bodes well for even stronger female roles to come.
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