May 16, 2019
‘The Other Woman:’ Please Take With Plenty of Fluid
It was around the fifth slow-motion montage, where the three BFFs who laugh while fondling lingerie or having a sexy pillow fight or something, that I decided I was far too sober for “The Other Woman.”
I think this would make a good drunk movie, as it’s weird and loose, veering from a womyn-power revenge trip to a gross-out comedy about dog poop and male breasts to a sugary cupcake ending about how Cameron Diaz should stop slutting it up and get married and pregnant already. The casting is like something you dream about after falling asleep after too much Netflix: we have Jaime Lannister as a villain (though hey, no rape!), Nicki Minaj as a paralegal, Kate Upton running in slow-motion down a beach “Baywatch”-style. And it’s just funny enough that after the fifth gin and tonic it probably seems like the funniest goddamn thing you’ve ever seen.
Diaz’s character, a high-powered lawyer (because aren’t they always?) makes her big realization about not being a slutbag after discovering that her new boyfriend (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) is married. His wife (Leslie Mann), a brittle, over-emotional mess in a Connecticut sweater set, finds Diaz and the two strike up an unlikely friendship, because women in these movies never have any friends already. They quickly discover that Jaime Lannister is also having an affair with Kate Upton, and the three new laughing, montage-having, lingerie-fondling BFFs go on a mission to seek revenge.
A little surprisingly, the most likable part is Upton. She seems to be channeling rom-com Marilyn Monroe- serene, cheerful, game for anything, stupidly beautiful but you can’t hate her. Diaz is pretty good too, but Mann’s completely miscast. Her character is childlike, nervous, and impulse-driven, but everything about Mann speaks of dignity and self-possession. And during the philanderer’s final, brutal destruction, we learn that Jaime Lannister might have a golden hand and a penchant for sister-screwing, but he does not do well in a comic scene.
Writer Melissa Stack clearly wanted to write the next Bridesmaids but she didn’t have it’s tightness or its cold, vicious heart. Seriously, I’m not kidding, she wrote in like A DOZEN montages, all set to “Girl Just Wanna Have Fun,” or whatever. For every solid joke there are five terrible ones, which are further butchered by director Nick Cassavetes and his complete lack of comedic timing. Then again this is the man that directed the laff-riots The Notebook and My Sister’s Keeper, so what are you gonna do?
So, to summarize: Kate Upton should be in more movies, Jaime Lannister isn’t all that funny, and according to the movies I should be laughing drunkenly with my girlfriends in my walk-in closet, while “Love is a Battlefield” plays in the background.