The Other Woman will divide audiences straight down the middle and even those of the fairer sex, who might cringe at the faux 'female empowerment' pitch, may be pleasantly surprised. First, let's get one thing straight: obsessing over a man who did you wrong - to the point where you start dressing like a ninja and stalking him for payback - is not big and it's not clever. But, you know what? It's kinda funny.
The friction between Leslie Mann and Cameron Diaz generates bright comedy sparks in a story that is otherwise trite and predictable, but just as important is their gradual warming towards each other. Mann is the good little wife "cute Kate", while Diaz is the careerist singleton Carly who doesn't know she is dating Kate's husband Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) until she turns up at their country pile in high heels, hot-pants and a tool belt to "fix his plumbing".
A broken heel and a bit of slapstick only amplify Carly's embarrassment, but it seems like a desperate grab for laughs in a situation that is awkward enough. The party really starts when Kate latches onto Carly, desperate for a shoulder to cry on. Mann excels at being annoying (as evidenced in the films of her real-life hubby Judd Apatow) and she makes a hilarious virtue of it as Kate; a whiny, shiny-faced, teary clown against Diaz's po-faced 'straight man'. She also has a knack for physical comedy, getting drunk and making like a cat in a box as Diaz tries to put her into a cab and, later, doing some shtick in the bushes on a stakeout in Miami.
Kate Upton, as Amber, is the third wheel in more than one sense; she is Mark's latest squeeze and then the newest recruit in Kate and Carly's nebulous revenge mission. She has little to contribute (except to be the butt of their bimbo jokes) although the girls aren't clear on what they're trying to achieve. While they figure out the grand plan, they get cheap, easy laughs from having Mark drink hormone-enriched sex-change smoothies and scotch laced with laxatives. It's a thankless role for Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) who is so oily you may begin to question why Kate and Carly fell for him in the first place.
>Director Nick Cassavetes - who is best known for directing epic tearjerkers like The Notebook and My Sister's Keeper - doesn't keep a tight enough rein on the action. A romantic subplot is tacked on for Carly and slows things down just as the pace is supposed to pick up, and when Kate and Carly become more comfortable in expressing their warmer, fuzzier feelings for each other, it takes some sting out of the tail. (Talking of which, Nicki Minaj is underused as Carly's PA with a 'tude.) Fortunately, there are enough laugh-out-loud moments and an infectious sense of naughty fun to keep you watching to the bitter, bitter end.
Inevitably, the plot culminates in over-the-top fashion, but then this is a revenge fantasy. If Quentin Tarantino was at the helm, Mark would get decapitated and blood would spray up the walls, but Cassavetes is in touch with his feminine side, so there's just a little less claret... That should go well with the two or three glasses of Sauvignon blanc that are needed to wash away the guilt of such illicit pleasure. Bottoms up! 3/5
Looks pretty shit but I'm loving Cameron lately