For a supposed “chick flick,” The Other Woman doesn’t demonstrate an especially high opinion of women. The hook – a wronged wife (Leslie Mann) and a pair of mistresses (Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton) team up to get revenge on their smarmy lover (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) – seems to be an empowerment-of-women-type-deal on the surface. And yet, with few exceptions, the women of The Other Woman are vain, desperate, ditzy, easily fooled and staggeringly insecure.
Perhaps that should come as no surprise; Nick Cassavetes’ film seems custom-made to encourage insecurity. Everyone is disgustingly wealthy (even the token male love interest, a labourer, owns a gorgeous beachside mansion), but completely unhappy with their lot in life. Leslie Mann’s character stresses about her perfectly waxed legs and feels inferior when she meets gorgeous, successful lawyer Cameron Diaz … who, in turn, is racked with self-doubt when faced with actual-swimsuit-model Kate Upton (mostly included as trailerbait, running in slow-mo wearing a skimpy bikini).
This might be forgivable if the comedy lands, but Mann’s drunken Lucille Ball performance aside, there’re no laughs here. There’s just a clumsy combination of toilet humour, tired revenge clichés (laxatives!), raunchy jokes and a smattering of racism and homophobia. Pick another film.