Other Woman: Silly Revenge Comedy Starring Cameron Diaz

the_other_woman_1_diazThe new chick flick, “The Other Woman,” a star-driven revenge comedy, could have been fun to watch if it were directed by somebody more talented and resourceful than Nick Cassavetes, the son of the famed director John Cassavetes and brilliant actress Gena Rowlands.

Sadly, Cassavetes’ directing skills have not improved with time; in fact, his films have gotten worse since his dubious  achievement, “The Notebook,” a decade ago.  Cassavetes’ last film, the indie “Yellow” in 2012, was unwatchable.

Sharply uneven, suffering from major problems in finding the right mood and tone, “The Other Woman” is largely watchable due to its likable and sexy actresses, paticularly Cameron Diaz. (Diaz is almost always better that the vehicles in which she is featured).

The plot, such as it is, revolves around two dejected mistresses and a wife, who join forces when they realize that they have been screwed by the same macho cheater.

Leslie Mann (Judd Apatow’s real wife) plays Kate, a fortysomething femme who discovers that her husband (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is playing away, when the sexy Carly (Cameron Diaz) turns up at her door wearing hotpants and a big smile.

The rivals soon form a friendship, a movieish one I might add, based on the overused concept of the Odd Couple.  Here the formula takes the shape of a kooky klutzy wife (Mann) and a bright, smart, levelheaded nd seductive lawyer (Diaz).

In the first reel, we  go for the ride, joining the women and their semi-amusing antics.  However, things change, when the duo finds out that another woman is involved, a second mistress, played by the model Kate Upton in her acting debut.

From that point on, the movie goes downaward, getting sillier and sillier, until it reaches its preposterous conclusion.

Running out of ideas and energy, the plot desperately relies on madcap dashes and cliched montages, such as hair thinner in the shampoo, laxatives in the scotch, and so on.

Don Johnson and Nicki Minaj play small, thankless roles, while Coster-Waldau hits his mark as the smooth and oily womanizer, even during his comeuppance scenes.

The scenario borrows heavily from ‘The First Wives Club”’ and even “Working Girl,” both funnier and better comedies.

A much better picture could have been made by reinventing the conventions of this subgenre, but intead, the filmmakers chose the easy and lame path, rehashing jokes and anecodtoes that we have already seen in countless Hollywood movies and TV sitcoms.

Ultimately, both Kate and Carly come across as types, the former as a whiny and weepy housewife, and the latter as a cool and grounded pro.

What a waste of two talented actresses, who have proven they are skillful comediennes in other pictures, and one (Upton) who is gorgeous to look at but at this point cannot act much.