The Other Woman is a shallow imitation

This rom-com is a shallow attempt at the female-led comedy typified by 2011’s Bridesmaids.

Sparks flew when Carly (Cameron Diaz) met Mark (Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), and it wasn’t long before the successful lawyer ditched her collection of boy toys for the seemingly perfect guy. That is, until she met Kate (Leslie Mann), Mark’s capricious (and clueless) wife. An unlikely friendship — and a plot for revenge — was born.

While Diaz is on point as the cool and collected Manhattanite, it is Mann who steals The Other Woman with her intensity and impeccable comedic timing. That, however, is about the only positive thing about this movie. Though it’s not the worst rom-com I’ve ever seen, The Other Woman is wholly mediocre and sometimes uncomfortable.

To start, the first half of the film is dominated by a series of pretty much the same scene over and over again. When Carly and Kate both learn of the affair, the erratic Kate basically harasses Carly in an attempt to gain some sort of solace. Carly is understandably reluctant to get any more involved, but eventually they form a sort of friendship. It isn’t until the duo discovers the third mistress, the vivacious 22-year old Amber (Kate Upton in possibly her highest paying modeling gig yet), that they hatch their plan for revenge. But even then the plot takes a back seat to girl-bonding montages, and before you know it you’re two-thirds into the movie and there’s no clear resolution or character development in sight.

The characters and subplots are completely underdeveloped, leaving caricatures and threads at most. This is exemplified in the film’s final scene when Carly says something along the lines of, “You showed me I needed to change,” and I couldn’t think of a single change in her except that she had a couple new friends.

The humor in the movie falls into two basic categories: nonsense and gross out. The nonsensical humor is largely successful, probably because Mann is the one delivering the vast majority of it. I can’t say the same about the gross-out humor, which mostly involves base attempts to get back at Mark. My guess is the filmmakers saw Bridesmaids and thought they could just throw in a few diarrhea jokes and have a hit. The finale takes a turn for the worse, devolving into a series of visual gags so absurd and unexpected that you can’t help but laugh awkwardly, thinking, “Did that really just happen?”

Ultimately, The Other Woman is shallow, stale, and unfunny. Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann do well for their parts, but the rest of the acting — including bit parts by Nicki Minaj and Don Johnson — is unremarkable at best. You’d be far better off seeing something other than The Other Woman this weekend.

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