December 16, 2014

The Other Woman (2014)

Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton


I recently read a book that quoted the catchphrase, "embrace the suck." This movie is sort of like that.
Going in, it's not like anyone thinks it's going to be Oscar bait. I mean, Kate Upton is actually named on the movie poster as one of the stars. Nicki Minaj is in the movie. As an actress. And yet, I still came out feeling disappointed somehow. I think Cameron Diaz just has that effect. (Ahem, Sex Tape, Knight and Day, The Holiday, Bad Teacher.... shall I go on?) So I guess to enjoy this movie, you really have to be able to embrace its inherent suckiness.

Just try and convince me this is what women
do and not what men hope we do.
I am a strong advocate for more female-led movies, but this movie felt like it was made by a man, for women. I mean sure, it's pretending to embrace female empowerment by having them exact revenge on a man and by having them actually befriend each other instead of compete, but why play into stereotypes of having Leslie Mann constantly frazzled, whiny, and out of control? Why have the women comment on how hot the other women are? Frankly, it all felt like a portrayal of what a man would imagine women would do in that situation, rather than what they would actually do. (And yes, I realize the screenplay was written by a woman, making this all the more pathetic.)

In some ways, I almost feel badly for being so hard on the movie because again, it's not like any rational person could sit down to watch this movie and think it was going to be good. But it was just so reminiscent of The First Wives Club, but done badly, that it hurt. I mean, when a thirty-something can relate more to Diane Keaton and Better Midler than Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann, I think perhaps something is wrong.

Of course, there were a few amusing parts. Kate Upton managed to not be the worst actor in the movie (that honor goes to the fake Harry Connick Jr. who played the cheating husband). And I think Leslie Mann did a good job with what she was asked to do, but her ridiculous over-the-top antics pushed the movie from average lame to almost offensively so. (Though I'm shifting blame from her to what I imagine her character was supposed act like, which is really the root of the problem). And the ending? I kept hoping it was one of those "alternative imagined endings" like in Wayne's World because it was so stupid. But I suppose it was just keeping with the theme of the rest of the movie.

Final word: Feels like it was made for men, except that no man would want to watch this.

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