DVD REVIEW: The Other Woman

other-woman-10614Witty dialogue, smart acting and rat-tat-tat directing serve “The Other Woman” well for the first 10 minutes.

After that, the movie runs on empty for an hour and a half.

The concept isn’t new, but it isn’t bad, either. Three women who have been deceived by a serial adulterer discover one another and dedicate themselves to his destruction. We saw it in “9 to 5” where three abused employees got even with the boss. It was the plot of “The First Wives Club.”

The primary problem with “Other” is that the three wronged women swiftly degenerate into Curly, Larry and Moe. The protagonists are Carly (Cameron Diaz), a city smart lawyer/maneater; Kate (Leslie Mann), the weepy wife and Amber (Kate Upton), the latest conquest with a body that won’t quit and a mind that won’t start.

The audacious, high-energy opening scenes are so promising that you’re glad you tuned in. Kate is hysterical as, well, a hysterical suburban housewife who discovers her handsome husband, Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), is a sensational horndog. Kate’s first encounters with Carly are very funny. But nuttiness never ends. The whiny, goofy shtick wears thin after an hour or so.

Upton, the most recent cover girl for Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, plays the part of deceived girlfriend with a convincing vacuity. Her attributes are spectacular, but can she act? Was she acting? Let’s see how she does in her next movie.

The surprise is Diaz, who has done far, far better than this and deserves better material. Her character evolves (dissolves, actually) from high-powered corporate lawyer to slapstick pratfaller.

As a gal-pal, women’s empowerment, we-are-all-sisters revenge movie, “Other” is derivative and predictable. As a gross-out movie with several good laughs (not including an astonishingly crude scene involving a laxative), it’s borderline. Though often amusing, the movie’s violent conclusion and Mark’s utter destruction are so not funny.

The soundtrack is clever, including the “Mission Impossible” theme as Carly and Kate tail the cad who done them wrong. Among the other small pleasures are the scenes with Carly’s sassy secretary (the rapper Nicki Minaj) and the return of Don Johnson, playing the part of Carly’s father.

Uneven, jarring and juvenile, “The Other Woman” will make you wish you had watched the other movie. Any other.

Stephen Fay

Stephen Fay

Managing Editor at The Ellsworth American
Stephen Fay, managing editor of The Ellsworth American since 1996, is a third-generation Californian. Starting out as a news reporter in 1974, he has been an editor since 1976, working in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont before settling in Ellsworth with his wife and two daughters. [email protected]