Hello everybody! For this week’s movie club, we watched the hilarious Cameron Diaz romantic comedy The Other Woman.
THE OTHER WOMAN
STARRING: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Kinney, Don Johnson
DIRECTOR: Nick Cassavettes
GENRE: Romantic Comedy
COUNTRY: United States
Kate is married to Mike and thinks he’s a great guy. But in reality he’s seeing another woman, Carly who doesn’t know he’s married. When he tells Kate he has to meet a client and won’t come home when in reality he’s planning to see Carly. But when Kate says she’ll go join him. He tells her he’ll cancel the meeting. So he tells Carly he has to take care of something at home. Carly then decides to go surprise him but runs into Kate and she freaks out and walks away. Kate later tracks Carly down and asks her if she and her husband are involved. She reluctantly admits it. And Kate has a breakdown of her own. They later get close and Kate is uncertain of what to do. When Mike comes on to her she thinks there’s hope. But she overhears him talking to someone and she thinks it’s Carly but she denies it. So they follow him and discover that he’s seeing another girl and when they tell her about him, they decide to get back at him. But Kate is still unsure.
The character of the wronged wife is the movie’s best creation, and Mann’s performance is its revelation. Mann has always been funny, but her performances have been usually within a particular range, playing off a sort of harried but knowing comic persona. But here she’s playing someone naive, and zany, and needy, who can’t shut up and is slightly ridiculous. At the same time, she must also be hurt, and worthwhile, and serious – the carrier of the movie’s emotion.
If you see The Other Woman, watch Mann and don’t take her for granted. Watch what she’s doing – or rather how much she’s doing simultaneously. Her line readings seem intuitive and spontaneous, guided by some unerring sense of comic timing. Yet, while nailing every laugh, she ropes in aspects of the character’s history, too. The pain of her betrayal. Her anger at letting herself get talked out of having children. This is the ideal comic synthesis – all the laughs on the surface, but with all the pain underneath.
Once The Other Woman trots out the gigantic, slobbering, non-house-trained Dalmatian for laughs, you can sense that somebody (maybe Cassavetes, maybe some studio dolt passing down unnecessary notes) didn’t trust that the women and their relationships could carry the story on their own. Or maybe they just learned the wrong lessons from Bridesmaids and decided that there really, really needed to be laxatives brought into play.
- Female characters.
- Character relationships.
- Smart comedy.
- Main cast performances
- Dog/stupid humor.
- Plot dips in some places.
SCORE: 7.5 / 10
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