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'Other Woman' is chick flick with attitude

By Michelle F. Solomon, Contributing writer
Published On: Apr 26 2014 04:53:01 PM CDT
The Other Woman

20th Century Fox Films

The Other Woman: April 25, starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, playwright William Congreve wrote in 1697. Things haven't changed much in more than 300 years if, in fact, art reflects real life. Apparently, it does.

In the new movie, "The Other Woman," a cad of a husband cheats on his wife and his mistress until the scorned women band together and give the guy his comeuppance.

The opening hodgepodge of the film shows a woman with her new boyfriend. They've been together eight weeks — they frolic in New York's Central Park, have candlelight-for-two dinners, and he shows up with a present "just because."  While she would like him to meet her father, she says "can't we stay in this bubble just a bit longer?"  He agrees.

It all looks oh, so romantic. That is, until he says his house in Connecticut has a plumbing problem and he must go to the country for the weekend. When she shows up at his house in a sexy plumber's outfit, complete with plunger, and in stiletto heels, she gets quite a shocking surprise when his wife opens the door. (This isn't much of a spoiler, believe me).

Cameron Diaz plays the other woman, Cornell and Columbia law grad Carly Whitten. Diplomas are proudly displayed in her to-die for skyscraper office with a drop-dead view of Manhattan. Yes, she certainly does have it all, a great loft apartment in Tribeca, fantastic career and fabulous clothes. "Sex and the City's" Patricia Field was the costumer and the clothes could definitely share space in Carrie Bradshaw's closet. For fashionistas, keep an eye out for these gems: Antonio Beradi skin tight black dress, Tom Ford sheath dress in white, and a Rick Owens black leather skirt with blazer. And Diaz wears the clothes well. She's utterly sensational looking in the film and director Nick Cassavetes ("The Notebook") makes sure the camera angles catch her just right.

And while Diaz is the sexy star draw of this movie, Leslie Mann ("This Is 40") as betrayed wife, Kate, pulls out all the comic stops and steals the show. The suburban housewife tells her husband that she needs to go to "brain camp" because she can't remember things, and decides she should get some Ginko Balboa to help her forgetfulness. Hubby corrects her reference to the movie Rocky. "That's Ginko Biloba," he says.

Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau ("Game of Thrones," "Oblivion") gets the thankless role of scheming cad, Mark King, a Maserati driving entrepreneur who is as unsavory in business, we find out, as he is with women.  Coster-Waldau shows his knack for comedy, too, in the knock out final minutes of the film where his luck has run out.

Rapper/singer Nicki Minaj also proves comedic prowess as Whitten's assistant, Lydia. The role most certainly became bigger than originally written because of Minaj's star power. Fashion takes a front seat (Gucci, Herve Leger, Versace and Alexander McQueen; dang! that legal assistant must have a sugar daddy somewhere) to whatever dialogue Lydia's given, although Lydia is given some doozies. She nicknames Carly's boyfriends — Lydia's tagged a former beau, Dr. Not So Smart informing us that Carly sent him and his medicine bag packing.

Don Johnson is almost unrecognizable in a small role as Carly's playboy father — a typical womanizer who is on wife No. 5. Is this really who James "Sonny" Crockett became after his retirement from "Miami Vice"?

Swimsuit supermodel Kate Upton shows up in the latter half of the film as the second other woman, but she doesn't have much to do but bat puppy dog eyes and flounce around in a bikini. Ditto for Taylor Kinney ("Chicago Fire") who plays the dreamy, blue-eyed brother of Kate.

There's a crop of these female empowerment movies (chick flicks are now chicks-with-an-attitude movies – the trend started with "Bridesmaids") constantly being churned out. There's nothing wrong with "The Other Woman," it's just there's not much originality to it, either.

The script by Melissa K. Stack does have its share of great comedic moments, and kudos to her for not creating a stereotyped Connecticut housewife with Kate, or a Manhattan maneater with Carly.  Cassavetes direction saves the movie with his creative camera angles and ability to capitalize on Stack's built-in hijinks.

Here's the verdict on "The Other Woman." Leave the guys home (this movie is a surefire antidote to Viagra) and invite the girls out for what amount to ladies locker room talk: man bashing and designer clothes envy.