'The Other Woman': What the Critics Are Saying
Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton find themselves jumping from feud to friendship in Nick Cassavetes' adultery comedy The Other Woman, thanks to a serial seducer (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).
Also starring Nicki Minaj, Taylor Kinney, Don Johnson, David Thornton and Victor Cruz, the 20th Century Fox comedy has a shot at winning the weekend box-office race with a predicted North American debut as high as $20 million, topping expectations actioner Brick Mansions, starring the late Paul Walker.
Read what top critics are saying about The Other Woman:
The Hollywood Reporter's chief film critic Todd McCarthy says in his review that the film is nowhere near as good as it could have been, as Cassavetes and first-time screenwriter Melissa K. Stack spend so much time letting the women make fools of themselves. "It's almost as if the funny scenes happen virtually by chance, like a lucky roll of the dice, with some decently written scenes not getting the laughs they should and other silly ones eliciting comic snorts thanks to an actor's passing gesture or delivery," he wrote. And before an "unsatisfactory climax, the film has already taken a nosedive with a series of scenes that are cued entirely to an unharmonious collection of musical snippets; there's hardly any dialogue or dramatic development to this ungainly stretch of scenes as the group returns from the Bahamas to New York." While Diaz and Mann have their moments, "Upton does what she's called upon to do, look great in a bikini, and rarely has more than one line to speak at a time," and "the actor who may turn the most heads is Kinney (TV's Chicago Fire) as the available brother."
The New York Times' Stephen Holden bluntly states that "this female revenge comedy is so dumb, lazy, clumsily assembled and unoriginal, it could crush any actor forced to execute its leaden slapstick gags and mouth its crude, humorless dialogue." Mann's character "is so overplayed that after a certain point you may want to put fingers in your ears to blot out her shrill, childish harangues," while the vengeful stunts are a "lame rip-off of the infinitely superior but still minor First Wives Club."
The Los Angeles Times' Betsy Sharkey notes that because The Other Woman attempts to cover the revenge fantasies of Thelma and Louise, Nine to Five and other such films, it's "ultimately undone by its indecision." And after playing the rom-com innocent in There's Something About Mary and My Best Friend's Wedding, "in the fortysomething world Diaz must now maneuver, adorable and innocent no longer work. The actress still has that mega-watt smile, but she hasn't got all the aging-gracefully kinks worked out of her comedy, as disappointing films like Bad Teacher and Knight and Day have demonstrated. The Other Woman is a better forum for her talents, but barely."
The San Francisco Chronicle's Mick LaSalle disagrees, as the script is "written on the knife edge between farce and naturalism" and "directed with precision and balance." Mann's layered portrayal of Kate is praised as "the ideal comic synthesis -- all the laughs on the surface, but with all the pain underneath," and "Upton plays stupid so well that she must be smart." While it may not be as good as Bridesmaids, "it's in that general area of aspiration, and its characters aren't cartoons."
Time's Richard Corliss commended Nicki Minaj as legal assistant Lydia. "In her first onscreen movie role (after voice work in Ice Age: Continental Drift), the rapper proves herself star material. Utterly relaxed, she delivers her lines in a silky or growly tone and represents the note of skepticism that The Other Woman could use more of."