Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton are a likeable but poorly served trio in this weak comedy
A romcom with what seems like a refreshing sisterly twist, The Other Woman sees a trio of wronged women team up to get their own back on a real weasel of a guy. So far so fun, right? Unfortunately Nick Cassavetes' eighth film squanders its subversive premise. It's also rather hysterical and not in a comedic way.
The Other Woman opens with a getting-to-know-you montage which shows lawyer Carly (Cameron Diaz) falling for Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). If he seems too good to be true it's because he is and we quickly see that he's already married, to the maniacally devoted Kate (Leslie Mann). When the two women discover the truth they buddy up, with the formidable Carly acting as a kind of self-respect life coach, teaching Kate to toughen up. On discovering the existence of a second affair – with the sweet-natured and similarly oblivious Amber (Kate Upton) – their thoughts turn to revenge.
Lest it get mistaken for something genuinely feminist, we're constantly reminded that this is, at its heart, undemanding fare which makes no bones about insulting its audience's aspirations and intelligence. That means running through a check-list of clichés, the most obvious being the astonishingly unimaginative soundtrack (which actually features 'Girls Just Want To Have Fun') and the most egregious of which is career-girl Carly's conversion.
Screenwriter Melissa Stack has penned such weak gags that poor Leslie Mann nearly does herself an injury trying to wring laughs from the material and Diaz's permanent look of disdain seems about right. However the women's unswerving loyalty and growing affection for each other occasionally warms the cockles and they're a likeable if very poorly served trio. And although Cassavetes' latest is not remotely spiky and sassy enough to satisfy, the revenge at least is pretty sweet.
General release from Wed 23 Apr.