By Sandra Kraisirideja
When Hollywood wants to make a movie that celebrates female friendship, the premise is either melodramatic (“Beaches”) or a slapstick comedy (“Bridesmaids”), and the new revenge comedy, “The Other Woman,” is no exception.
While revenge propels the story forward, “The Other Woman” is really about female friendships and the importance of having girlfriends who can watch your back and support you through thick and thin.
Leslie Mann stars as Kate King, a stereotypical Connecticut housewife, who discovers her husband, Mark, played by “Game of Thrones” Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, has been having an affair with Carly, a Manhattan attorney, played by Cameron Diaz.
Finding herself without anyone to talk to about her disintegrating marriage, Kate turns to Carly for support and a shoulder to cry on. At first Carly wants nothing to do with Kate but eventually a friendship is formed, especially when they discover Mark has a third mistress—delightfully played by Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Kate Upton.
The model and aspiring actress has had a few small roles. With “The Other Woman” Upton has has chosen a great part to start building an acting career.
Diaz’s performance is solid but Mann has delivered better work. Her antics were a bit over-the-top and she is better suited for low-key roles where the comedy comes more from the dialogue than physical humor. Fortunately, the few missteps Mann has in the movie aren’t enough to bring the whole thing down.
In fact, the movie works well because of the great chemistry between the three female leads. It’s especially refreshing to see strong, comedic performances in a movie with all-female leads. Perhaps the last time that happened was with “Bridesmaids” in 2011.
There’s no doubt the movie turned out so well because of director Nick Cassavetes. His previous work such films as “The Notebook,” “My Sisters Keeper” and “Unhook the Stars,” prove that he understands female-centric stories. He also works well with Diaz, who he directed in “My Sisters Keeper.”
Screenwriter Melissa Stack, who before this had only written one short film, skillfully presents a positive image of female empowerment and friendship through the guise of a revenge comedy. After watching “The Other Woman” I felt the way I do after binge-watching episodes of “Sex and the City.” If you don’t watch this movie with your girlfriends then be prepared to pick up the phone and call them afterward.