The Other Woman: Not Quite a One-Night Stand!

the-other-woman

Leslie Mann, Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton deserve full marks for going all-in on this tepid riff on The First Wives’ Club. Their commitment provides some hilarious moments – if not quite enough to make the film memorable. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is also solid as the serial cheater.

The Other Woman opens with a romantic montage – complete with sappy love song in the background. It’s not until Mark (Coster-Waldau) makes an excuse to get out of a dinner with Carly’s (Diaz) dad – which he asked for – does she find out he’s married to Kate (Mann). It comes about as a surprise visit that goes so wrong.

Shortly thereafter, Kate tracks down Carly and the world’s weirdest friendship (part one) begins, however unlikely that might be. After a couple of breakdowns, Kate decides to seek vengeance and Carly agrees to help. Along the way, we learn that Mark makes his very comfortable living with online start-ups – and that one of the most promising is an idea of Kate’s.

We also learn that he’s cheating on both Kate and Carly with Amber (Upton). Amber is a 10 for this generation – a perfect 10. She is shocked to learn that her Mark is married and that she is only his latest fling. So now we have three women who would never be friends in real life banding together to make Mark suffer.

Plus, there’s a giant dog (it looks like a Dalmatian/Dane mix) who has some boundary issues.

Directed by Nick Cassavetes from a script by Melissa Stark, The Other Woman is, at time, ponderous – especially when a gag goes on far too long (Kate’s breakdowns quickly shift from funny to painfully awkward and totally stop the film’s flow). While the set-up is unlikely, at least Mann and Diaz (and, eventually, Upton) have great chemistry and mostly overcome the inherent problems of the premise.

Coster-Waldau foes a good job as clever, suave serial cheater Mark – and really lets us see why he is so good at snowing both his women and the people he works with. Taylor Kinney is also decent as Kate’s supportive brother, Phil, and Don Johnson is enjoyable as Carly’s dad, Frank. Nicki Minaj has a few good moments as Carly’s secretary, Lydia, but, like Upton, doesn’t really have that much to do.

A little judicious pruning could have made The Other Woman much better. As it stands, its high points and low points pretty much average out to… average. In the context of relationships, it’s not quite a one-night stand.

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