Arts & Review

Cookie cutter chick flick surprises no one

If you have a difficult time finding humor in the suffering of others, The Other Woman may not be for you.  Leslie Mann (17 Again) is once again acting in the unfortunate female roles that have defined her career, this time as Kate King, the wife of a man who is having multiple affairs.

The story begins with the oh-so-tough lawyer Carly Whitten, played by Cameron Diaz, discussing her new but surprisingly monogamous relationship with Mark to her secretary, Nicki Minaj.  After finding wife Kate in Mark’s Connecticut home, Carly realizes that she has in fact been  his mistress all along.  Kate then finds Carly’s apartment in New York City and, after a night of excessive drinking, the two become best friends.

In the duo’s quest to bring down the double-timing sleaze, they find a third woman he is involved with, a role filled but not necessarily played by model Kate Upton, who looks nice and utters all but a few forgettable lines for the film’s entirety.  In any case, she soon joins the scheming team on a mission to bring down the offending male.

The plausibility of the plot is almost as incomprehensible as the fact the Minaj landed herself a speaking role.  Her only actual role seems to be adding context throughout the film, and her performance is memorable only for its blatant strangeness.  As for her future in acting, Minaj should probably stick to her day job.

The overdone and  unrealistic one-sidedness of male lead Nikolaj Coster-Waldau  (Game of Thrones), who, like Upton, fulfills his role and does little more,  undercuts the “girl power” message the movie aims for, but misses by a long shot.  In fact, the tasteless stereotypes each woman portrays not only betrays this theme, but also shifts the movie industry two steps backward.  The women in this film are united and motivated only by a man, a role that women in media have sought to free themselves from for decades.

Perhaps the only redeeming quality of this film is actress Leslie Mann’s performance.  Her timing is perfect and her humor overshadows that of her costars, particularly Diaz, who disappoints.  While Mann shines as the trio’s clear star, Diaz stands in the shadow of her talent and Upton’s ditzy character.

The conclusion of the film is less than satisfying, playing into the fact that revenge itself brings no satisfaction, and makes it all the more obvious that the last hour and a half of your time was wasted.

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