If you’ve been following TV’s “Game of Thrones,” you’ve seen Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau tormented and tortured as the maimed warrior Jaime Lannister. But the medieval cruelty he’s experienced is commonplace when compared with the malicious humiliation in store for him as the cad in this female payback comedy. Read on…
When glamorous Carly Whitten (Cameron Diaz) is a high-powered New York lawyer, finds out that her suave, smooth-talking suitor, Mark King (Coster-Waldau), has had a wife, Kate (Leslie Mann), stashed away in a house in Connecticut, she’s furious and determined to dump him. But then naïve, needy, highly-neurotic Kate barges into Carly’s office, which leads to tequila shots and a heart-to-heart talk in Carly’s apartment. Carly forms an unlikely friendship with Kate, only to discover that there’s also a third woman, much younger Amber (“Sports Illustrated” bikini model Kate Upton). Establishing solidarity in sisterhood, the wronged women vow vengeance on the deceitful, serial seducer, referring to themselves as The Wife, The Mistress and The Boobs. Observing all this is Kate’s bachelor brother Phil (Taylor Kinney), who is understandably dazzled by Carly as the women spy on unsuspecting Mark in the Hamptons.
Seemingly recycling the wretched comedy “John Tucker Must Die” (2006), first-time screenwriter Melissa K. Stack and director Nick Cassavetes (“The Notebook,” “My Sister’s Keeper”) concoct an uneven, fem-centric betrayal fantasy that’s filled with embarrassingly sadistic slapstick gags, like dipping Mark’s toothbrush in the toilet, putting hair removal in his shampoo, laxatives in his scotch, and estrogen-enrichment in his morning smoothies, etc. . They even delve into his off-shore bank accounts.
Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann transform into madcap comediennes whose camaraderie is reminiscent of “The First Wives Club” – with Kate Upton struggling to keep up. Nicki Minaj garners giggles as Carly’s personal assistant, cynically asserting: “Selfish people live longer.” And Don Johnson shows up briefly as Carly’s lecherous, five-times-married father.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Other Woman” is a familiarly feisty 5. To paraphrase William Congreve: “Hell hath no fury like three women scorned.”