Well, we know what we think and feel when we hear about that kind of woman. This time it is Cameron Diaz, playing Carly, a sophisticated and well-healed lawyer. But, she is not quite as bad as we might initially suspect.
Somebody used the phrase ‘deserving victim,' a nicely precise description. Here it refers to businessman, Mark (Nikolai Coster-Waldau), whom we initially see romancing Carly. Everything seems wonderful, Mark genial and cheerful, Carly wondering whether this might be the real thing – and experiencing wry comments from her secretary. And then suddenly, the audience sees him in bed – with his wife, Kate (Lesley Man). Mark is not nice, a two-timing philanderer.
Then Carly, believing that he has plumbing problems at home, turns up in her overalls with tools to help, only to encounter Kate. In several films, especially those directed by her real-life husband, Judd Apatow, Leslie Mann has been playing 40-ish wives with problems, often with a touch of hysteria. This time, with cause, she has more than hysteria.
Once upon a time in 1996, there was a very funny comedy, The First Wives Club, with Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Bette Midler – and another group of philanderers. The film showed how the wives got together against their respective unfaithful husbands and became judges and jury to find ways of retribution.
The Other Woman is not quite in the league of the 1996 film, but it has its interesting characters, vengeance and retribution situations (with Mark suffering quite a number of indignities but holding out as long as possible in his deceptions). And by 2014, dialogue and vengeance is more racy, raucous and raunchy than in 1996.
- Peter Malone, ACOFB
Starring Cameron Diaz, Lesley Mann, Nikolai Coster-Waldau, Don Johnson, Kate Upton. Directed by Nick Cassavetes. 109 minutes. Rated M (Sexual references, coarse language and mature themes).