The Other Woman (2014)

The Other WomanReleased: April 25, 2014. Directed by: Nick Cassavetes. Starring: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton. Runtime: 109 min. 

The Other Woman is a story about strange friendships and adultery. It raises ideas that monogamy just never works out, and one character is legitimately surprised that Carly (Cameron Diaz), is sticking to one man. Nicki Minaj is occupying one of those secretary roles who are moral compasses for their boss even though this one has questionable morals. She doesn’t consider it cheating if the partner is a fat Canadian with no sexual charisma. Minaj’s character Lydia isn’t featured prominently (she’s present for three or four scenes) so we should count our blessings for that. Minaj’s comedic delivery needs work. I might be treating her unfairly because I hate her. I must admit that she’s a talented rapper, though. Anyway, the film follows Lydia’s employer Carly who is dating a great guy named Mark King (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who is good at playing the falsely charming douchebag), or at least she thinks he’s a great guy. When she finds out he’s married to Kate (Leslie Mann), they become friends, even though Diaz says they better not braid each other’s hair and drink cosmos. Don’t they know tequila is a gateway drink to that sort-of bonding? They set out on a slow-moving plan to put Mark in his place, in traditional ways – sometimes to the sound of the Mission: Impossible theme.

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My response to the humour that REALLY missed

This is a chick flick through and through, one that firmly believes men suck. On paper this could be some decent entertainment, because I like movies like this once in awhile – and I think the director, Nick Cassavetes, is talented. But this is his worst film to date. He’s no stranger to the so-called chick flick – director of My Sister’s Keeper, which could be tagged as one – but he is a stranger to comedy. He directed it well enough to get a counted six laughs from me, but half of those are because I’m a sucker for poop jokes. It also relies on other gross-out “gags” which are more gross than funny at all. That’s most notably the fact that Kate’s huge dog (who, in a running gag, has huge balls) is shown taking a shit on Carly’s carpet. (This is not the poop joke that got a big laugh from me, I assure you.)

That’s just a little taste of the grossness. There’s different comedy styles for everyone – gross-out-jokes, tame raunchy jokes, slapstick humour and jokes that just aren’t funny. In the test screenings, one would think they would have checked which one the audiences reacted the most to – and leaned towards one style, or at least tried to make all of those styles funny. This might be funnier if it got an R-rating. It’s essentially an awful version of John Tucker Must Die, where the cheating monster is married instead of just a guy in high school – and the victims are mid-20s to middle age. If it were made to be an update just with older stars – wouldn’t it make more sense to make it with an R-rating? A better writer than first-timer Melissa Stack would help, too. Too often the humour misses, and the film is too often extremely boring and predictable. The film’s also bereft of any romance that feels natural, which I think is odd for Cassavetes, director of The Notebook.

Haha nope, he won't notice us...

Haha nope, he won’t notice us…

The “comedy” that gets tailored for Mann’s talents is unfunny crying (because her husband is cheating on her) a nonsensical bit of why her husband shouldn’t eat bacon, and a thing where she wants to go to brain camp to become smarter. She really needs it since she doesn’t know it’s called college. Mann does get one big laugh. A cast member that is enjoyable is Don Johnson, even if his presence feels random. Cameron Diaz is here because of her charming smile, but she doesn’t muster any big laughs. She’s sexy but the sex appeal is more-so Kate Upton’s boobs. Upton comes into the film a bit late, and that’s really when they start sabotaging Mark; which makes the pacing issues more obvious, as she doesn’t appear until at least an hour in.

This is a brutal attempt at comedy with characters that you just won’t care about. Mann’s character is a somehow more whiny version of her character in Knocked Up, but at least that film is funny. Diaz’s Carly is a bit too unlikable at times, even with that lovely smile, as she practices tough love. It’s sometimes nice to see the plain lawyer, who seems to dedicate all of her time to this operation, open up to these people, though. Upton’s Amber is cute, she says cute things like “Let’s kick him in the balls!” It just seems to me that she doesn’t have many brain cells in her pretty little head. She can join Kate at “brain camp.” And while they’re there, Cassavetes and writer Melissa Stack can go to comedy camp.

Score: 38/100

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Box Office Predictions April 25-27: Brick Mansions, The Quiet Ones and The Other Woman

Quirky title that was too long for a headline: The wife didn’t find out about The Other Woman until he took her to one of their many Brick Mansions. It took the wife awhile to find out because he only screws The Quiet Ones.

Brick MansionsThe Other WomanThe Quiet Ones

Brick Mansions comes to theatres this weekend, an action thriller that is one of Paul Walker’s final film roles. It looks pretty awesome and explosive, and it’s another film from popular French filmmaker Luc Besson, the man behind Taken and Taken 2Leon: The Professional and this year’s 3 Days to Kill. I think Paul Walker’s involvement will give this a bigger push than if he were not in it. This is a remake of a French film called District B13, which stars David Belle in the same role. Anyway, films similar to this open at $18 million. I think this will be a bit lower so I’m going to predict $14 million.

The Other Woman strikes me as a MILF version (plus Kate Upton) of John Tucker Must Die. Maybe it’ll be a bit more mature?  This is director Nick Cassavetes’ first attempt at comedy, and sometimes that’s harder to do than drama. I really have loved a good amount of his work; he’s directed The Notebook, My Sister’s KeeperJohn Q., and one of my personal favourites, Alpha Dog. Those are all dramatically strong films, so I’m interested to see how Cassavetes does with this film. Films similar to this open at $20.23 million. I think this is going to hit right at $20 million.

The other big release of the weekend is The Quiet Ones. I like the look of this film, Jared Harris is an appealing factor for me and I like Olivia Cooke on TV’s Bates Motel. I hope the college psychology experiment doesn’t make this look too similar to the god-awful horror film The Apparition which was released in August of 2012. That one opened to $2.8 million. Films similar to this open at $19.3 million. I don’t think this would reach that number, because this doesn’t look like the film that will bring horror out of its brief drought – but it looks pretty cool. I’m going to go around the number Oculus did two weekends ago, which was $12 million. I haven’t felt any big marketing push or anticipation for this, but I think it’ll draw a decent-sized crowd. My prediction is $11 million.

As for the holdovers, Captain America 2 could four-peat if The Other Woman doesn’t hit $20 million (I think it will, though). I’m thinking a weekend of $19 million looks likely for Cap in his fourth weekend. Heaven is for Real won second place last weekend, beating Rio 2 by a margin of $0.4 million. I’m curious to see who will win this weekend. I’m going in favour of Heaven, which grossed $22.522 million, for those who want to know the number. It seems that it Heaven was met with mediocrity from trolls on IMDb, with a rating of 5.6. It did receive an ‘A’ Cinemascore, however — so it was a hit with Christian audiences. They’re who it’s for, mostly. I think Rio 2 will gross $14.5 million, and Heaven to gross $15 million. 

As for the status on reviews for the weekend, I’m going to post Heaven is for Real (which I enjoyed) and Oculus (which I loved). At least I’ll try to post Oculus. You see, my computer stopped charging so I’m getting a new one and they’re transferring the files over to my new one, and I’m picking it up tomorrow. That’s why I haven’t posted very much this week. I’m writing this article on my mom’s laptop. Anyway, thanks for reading!

1. The Other Woman – $20 million

2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier – $19 million

3. Heaven is for Real – $15 million

4. Rio 2 – $14.5 million

5. Brick Mansions – $14 million

6. The Quiet Ones – $11 million