When Carly (Cameron Diaz) learns that her new, seemingly perfect boyfriend Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is married, she forms an unlikely – and at first, unwanted – friendship with Mark’s wife Kate (Leslie Mann). When the two discover he has another woman on the go, the three team up to get their revenge.
Remember The First Wives Club? The 1996 movie starring Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Bette Midler and Maggie Smith? Well, it seems as though the writer of The Other Woman, Melissa Stack also remembers, because she, and director Nick Cassavetes have created a film that could easily be a remake of the 1996 Hugh Wilson film, albeit with considerably less charm.
Cameron Diaz plays the same aloof character she has played for some time now and, although she certainly has a talent for this kind of role, it has become tiresome. Yes, she looks good, yes, she does this well, but we have all seen this before. The same goes for Leslie Mann as Kate; the whiny, cryface that she has practiced so well in her career to date is in full effect here, and there is only so much of the usual Mann improv that the audience can stand before it grates.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has made a career for himself playing the handsome cad, and again, there is nothing here to challenge or change his career choices so far. The only good thing is that it seems the crew of The Other Woman felt Coster-Waldau needed to be got back for making Aksel Hennie languish in a poop filled outhouse in Headhunters, because there is no shortage of poop jokes at his expense in The Other Woman. Kate Upon turns up as an appropriately nicknamed character; ‘The Boobs’, and Nicki Minaj makes her first foray into live action acting, as Carly’s assistant Lydia. She’s fine.
Melissa Stack’s screenplay takes over an hour to truly kick in, and until that point we are bombarded with pretty people doing wrong and feeling fine about it, and less pretty people being wronged. The revenge is rather carefully orchestrated, and at least makes sense, but the final showdown is ridiculous to say the least. Oh, and there is more than one poop joke. Neither of them are funny.
Nick Cassavetes seems to have allowed his leading ladies to do whatever they feel comfortable with, and while Diaz and Mann are perfectly fine at what they do, there is very little new or entertaining here. By the time the women finally get their revenge, it is more a relief than a revelation, and Mark’s comeuppance turns to slapstick rather too quickly.
The Other Woman is an unoriginal, uninspired and frankly, rather flat film about getting revenge when you have been wronged. The main stars do what they feel comfortable with, and the audience may find themselves wondering if The Other Woman would have been a better use of our time if Mann and Cameron had stretched themselves and swapped roles. Probably not, but it’s an entertaining thought.