Overview: After discovering her boyfriend is actually married, a woman strikes up an unusual relationship with his wife and the women plot revenge. Twentieth Century Fox; 2014; Rated PG-13; 109 Minutes.
Serial Cheater: Did you just l-o-v-e John Tucker Must Die? Was your only complaint that the cast wasn’t 30 years older and lacing more scenes with bowel movement jokes than presumably dinner with a thirty-something Adam Sandler would entail? I have the film for you!
The Formula: Director Nick Cassavettes (The Notebook, My Sister’s Keeper) probably thinks he’s got comedic gold here. Grab Cameron Diaz for your mistress leading lady (because she’s not doing anything anyway); throw in Leslie Mann (because she’s got the shrill wife thing down); add in a pair of tits (Kate Upton making her film debut as Third Bitch with Gargantuan Tits. [Kidding. She has a name, I think.]); then spritz in a couple minor characters (How well do you think Nicki Minaj pulls off her first role? You’ve got that right. Moving on. And I will spare you from even mentioning Don Johnson. You’re welcome.); sell it as a sismance revenge flick, and there you have it: the perfect girl power rom-com.
The Shit: Literally. The scatological humor plagues the entirety of the film in an unnecessary, unfunny parade of bodily functions that would make the cast of American Pie blush. I can get on board with the occasional gag-worthy funny—when it’s well-executed. If you’re going for a laxative induced public diarrhea scene, better make sure you’re outdoing Dumb and Dumber or at least in the realm of Bridesmaids. (The comparisons to Bridesmaids stop here and now.) To sell The Other Woman, the audience must buy into the Diaz- Mann odd couple. Unfortunately, the movie fails most colossally at portraying likable women and relatable female friendships. Each is simply a shallow caricature, none uttering a smidge of dialogue any real person would ever say.
List of Grievances: 1) The soundtrack is scary bad in the “when we return to New York City, better play ‘New York, New York’” way. My 10th grade boyfriend compiled less clichéd, better transitioning mixed tapes in his day. 2) Remember Eyes Wide Shut? This movie should be so lucky to see that level of chemistry amongst any of the characters. 3) Each woman is admittedly stupid. The lawyer (presumably the smartest of the three) actually states that if the three of them put their brains together, they may be able to out-wit the man who betrayed them. You know, three female minds are equivalent to one male’s. (I may need a man to check my math on that.) 4) Female empowerment takes a grisly turn in the conclusion. IF you managed to stay on board with these ladies or even just held on in hopes of a payoff, you’ll find the conclusion too painful, gruesome, and mean-spirited to garner any laughs. 5) Combating Hollywood’s misogyny problem with a high dose of misandry fixes nothing.
Final Thought: The Other Woman desperately tries to usurp the Bridesmaids throne, but contradicts its would-be feminist message, rushing about unabashedly insulting the intended audience at every opportunity—so much so, it’s hard to believe the misses weren’t intentional parodies of the genre in which it so desperately tries to conquer. This movie hates men, and it hates women. Comedy was spared…solely because The Other Woman doesn’t have the faintest idea of what that is.