In preparation for “The Other Woman”, I looked at an older film starring Cameron Diaz. That film was Peter and Bobby Farrelly’s “There’s Something About Mary” (1998), a highly-entertaining, surprisingly successful combination of both the romantic and gross-out comedy sub-genres, and one of the best comedies of the 1990s. Cameron played Mary Jensen, the pretty love interest of the likeable loser Ted Stroehmann (Ben Stiller) and the disreputable private detective Pat Healy (Matt Dillon, in a stand-out performance). The running joke in “There’s Something About Mary” was the battle between the main male characters for Mary’s heart. However, at its core, the film had a simple, heartwarming message about being able to love someone for who they are, despite their inner flaws and outward appearance. The message of “The Other Woman”, I assume, is that you can be the biggest BFF with the person who cheated with your significant other – provided that the person was UNAWARE that your significant other was married/in a relationship/sleeping with you to begin with. And the running joke? Fuck should I know. What I gathered from the trailers to this film, more particularly the one that I intentionally put up in my 10 most anticipated films of 2014 post in January, was that three women (Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton) found out they were all being cheated on by the same man (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, or as he’s known in the world of “Game of Thrones” – Jamie “why are you looking at your sister like that, Kingslayer?” Lannister) and they team up to get revenge. Cliched premise, yes. One’s that been done before, yes, and in a not-so-memorable-manner, yes (*COUGH*”John Tucker must Die”*COUGH*REMEMBER THAT SHIT?!!!*COUGH). But at least it would’ve made for a pretty good, if not great, comedy.
Instead, what I got was a complete failure of a comedy. Sure, I snickered when I saw Nikolaj making out with Cameron in the opening of the film (in a “Hey, it’s the Kingslayer making out with ANOTHER blonde” kind of way) and sure I snickered when I saw rapper/singer Nicki Minaj’s name in the opening credits (for the simple reason that SHE’S in this movie), but apart from a few more snickers, I got absolutely no laughs from this film. Fortunately, it’s not the actors’ fault. Performance-wise, the cast – yes, even Nicki Minaj- did their best with the dialogue and characterization that they’re given. Unfortunately, their many efforts at humour fall flat thanks to the script, which is so poorly-written and so mish-mashed with generic scenarios lifted from other rom-coms and chick flicks (like the let’s-get-drunk-and-talk-about-the-things-we-hate-about-men scene in the first act) that at moments, you can literally see what will happen a half hour away.
The pacing in this film is painfully off-putting. After Carly Whitten (Diaz) realizes that her boyfriend Mark King (Kingslayer) is MARRIED to Kate (Mann), the rest of the movie’s first half is spent on the psychologically unlikely friendship between the two women.I say psychologically unlikely because spending one hour with Kate, one of the most cartoonishly ANNOYING characters you’ll ever see in a movie this year, is enough to drive anyone to suicide. Literally the human equivalent of Charlie Brown’s Halloween bag of rocks (Charlie’s “I got a rock” line is immensely funnier than this movie, by the way), and the adult equivalent of a 6-year-old on a sugar rush, Kate talks a mile a minute on the most random, unintelligent, unnecessary shit that comes to her head. In an early scene, she spends a minute verbally pondering the possibility of going to “brain camp”. See what I mean? Dumber than a bag of rocks!
Had I not seen the trailer or the poster to this film, I would’ve easily assumed that this film was about all about Carly and Kate getting back at Mark. But wait! The title of the movie is “The Other Woman”. Could it mean…..there’s ANOTHER woman? Why yes, there is. About 55 minutes into the film, we finally see Mark’s newest mistress: a ridiculously hot 21-year old named Amber (played by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition model Kate Upton). As a reminder by director Nick Cassavetes (director of “The Notebook” – a movie that, according to the rules of male singledom, I MUST NOT WATCH) to the audience that she is indeed a swimsuit model, Kate is shown in slow-motion running on the beach in a white swimsuit, with the camera lingering lustily on her breasts and buttocks. Modern-day female empowerment or a boner alert to the guy who, 55 minutes ago, stared aimlessly at the screenwondering why his girlfriend made him watch this movie instead of Season 4 of “Game of Thrones”? You decide.
Of course, the cougar-aged Carly and Kate are jealous at Amber’s ridiculous hotness. And who can blame them? But what happens after all three women find out they were being cheated on by Mark? They become BFFs! WTF?!!! The film spent its first half showing how Carly and Kate were affected by Mark’s betrayal, how jealous they were of each other for winning Mark’s affections, and how they were able to become friends (still psychologically unlikely) despite it all. But all of a sudden, they meet Amber and they’re best friends! Save for a shot of Amber and Mark, backs towards the camera, sitting on respective lounge chairs before the slow-motion running scene, we DON’T see the two being intimate. We don’t see them having dinner. We don’t even see or hear them talking to one another. We see these things with Carly and Kate respectively, but why not with Amber? But no, we’re forced to assume that Amber and Mark were in a relationship, because Amber said so. And why isn’t Amber the least bit resentful at Carly and Kate? Doesn’t matter though, cause once Carly hatches a plan to get back at Mark, the trio become BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!! Bag of rocks, anyone?
Weirdly enough, in the film’s third act, there’s less emphasis on the childish comeuppance by our heroines at Mark and more on moments of heart and emotion (like the let’s-sit-on-the-beach-and-stare-at-the-sunrise-for-no-reason-other-than-we-feel-empowered-because-the-song-playing-in-the-soundtrack-is-telling-the-audience-that-we-are-feeling-empowered-in-this-scene scene, for example) since this is (supposed to be) a female empowerment movie. But after seeing a farting Kingslayer run to the bathroom to take a shit after one of our heroines puts laxative in his drink (’cause ladies, THAT’s how you get back at your cheating-ass man!), you will stop giving a shit.
After watching “The Other Woman”, I made the unfortunate decision to sit through “Walk of Shame”. Now I know what you’re thinking: The fuck is “Walk of Shame”? Not to be confused with the Pink song of the same name, “Walk of Shame” starred the beautiful, talented Elizabeth Banks as a journalist trying to make it to a job interview, after a drunken one night stand with James Marsden (of all people) left her stranded in downtown Los Angeles. Wearing a bright yellow dress from the night before, she’s mistaken by the police and drug dealers as a prostitute, labelled as a “ho”, “trick”, bitch” and”bitch from the news” among other terms, and in one scene, tries to sell a $10 vial of crack (which was given to her by a crackhead who calls her “bitch from the news”, by the way) to a neighbourhood drug dealer. While “Walk of Shame” embraced its blatant misogyny and exposed it in all its unfunny glory, “The Other Woman” tried to be a genuine female empowerment comedy, but failed in being a female empowerment movie, a comedy and genuine!
That being said, “The Other Woman” is one of the worst comedies – hell, one of the worst movies – of 2014. If all goes well, it’s guaranteed to share its spot on my Top 10 Worst Films of 2014 list with “Walk of Shame”, since both of those movies are witless attempts at entertainment. Ladies, if you’re looking for a rom-com to watch with your friends, you may get some bit of enjoyment from it, but honestly, there’s better out there (*COUGH*”There’s Something About Mary” *COUGH). Guys looking for a hilarious rom- com that they can unashamedly watch for two hours will find themselves bored or annoyed as fuck, even though Kate Upton’s in it. And yes, Kate Upton is literal eye candy – but ask yourself, do you really want to sit through 55 minutes of comedic tedium to see her in a swimsuit? Stick to Google, homie!
MY RATING: 1 out of 5 stars (“Of course it sucked”)