EMINE – ‘The Other Woman’: Diaz and Mann can’t save the day

‘The Other Woman’: Diaz and Mann can’t save the dayWatching the trailer for “The Other Woman” one might end up thinking that director Nick Cassavetes’ film promises an ample amount of laughs and possibly an enjoyable female version of “The Hangover” series. Unfortunately, we live in a day and age in which trailers are overrated and deliberately misleading. The director and three lead stars of this film have all proved their artistic talents elsewhere in previous endeavors however, their collaboration in this film has ended in a narrative mess and a handful of clichés, making us feel embarrassed for them.This is quite ironic, for this comedy film is about trying to make the audience laugh over the embarrassing situations in Melissa Stack’s screenplay. But these embarrassing events do not make us laugh — on the contrary, we feel embarrassed ourselves.The film opens in Manhattan, introducing us to the dazzling Cameron Diaz as Carly — a powerful attorney in her early 40s — as she finally meets her Prince Charming in a slow-motion sequence. Prince Charming is Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau of “Game of Thrones”) and he pretty much looks like everything a woman like Carly could wish for.After eight weeks of flirting and cooing, Carly accidentally discovers that Mark is married to the clueless weirdo Kate (Leslie Mann). Carly is devastated and dives right back into her career. But Kate is even more devastated when she finds out what is going on, and initially tries to confront Carly. Kate won’t let Carly go and uses her as a wailing wall, complaining to her about how she devoted her entire life to her husband. Carly insists on becoming friends with Kate and although she can’t stand the woman at first she grows to become fond of her. When the two find out that Mark is having another affair with a younger model-type named Amber (Kate Upton), they go crazy and decide to take their revenge on the man. They also bring Amber over to their side and include her in their heinous plans. Oh, and also, Carly starts to have a crush on Kate’s hot brother Phil (Taylor Kinney). This device tries to function as a romantic element in the story but is not convincing.One would think that if you put three intelligent women together, they would come up with an ingenious method of psychological torture to give their male target a lesson. However, what do these grown women do? They resort to toilet humor. They secretly inject Mark with estrogen hormones and feed him the strongest of laxatives, and also mix depilatory cream in with his shampoo. Honestly, how old are these women? In the story they are around 40, but this kind of method of revenge is only fit for a teenage girl.This very simple example is the problem of “The Other Woman”: casting these very special and admirable two actresses who are in their early 40s means that the producers are relying on a target audience mainly composed of women above the age of 25. I personally don’t know any woman above the age of 25 who would want to watch Coster-Waldau struggling with diarrhea for nearly five minutes and laugh at it.But there are larger problems in this film apart from its pubescent gags: The main characters are not fully drawn enough to be sufficiently convincing and complex for the audience to form a bond with them, or even care for them. Carly remains a clever but ruthless attorney who views life in black and white Kate is just plain weird, without any depth, and her quirkiness is not even endearing. The young Amber has nothing in common with Carly and Kate that would push her to form a genuine friendship with them.There are seeds of “Sex and the City” in the film, especially in light of the way the women talk about the opposite sex, but even that concept seems too outdated and overdone for it to serve a purpose.Furthermore, there is no climax or real satisfaction in the finale. When the women finally defeat the male antagonist, we actually feel sorry for the man as opposed to wanting to congratulate these women.This is one of the blandest films of the week. Even Diaz’s big smile and Mann’s big blue eyes can’t help save it. And what a pity, for there are many women out there who are craving some decent and smart comedy involving the battle of the sexes.

SOURCE: Todays Zaman

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