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Article by Teddy Durgin

The Other Woman is fun for women scorned

The new comedy "The Other Woman" reminds me of "Star Wars." Yeah, I know. I can pretty much work "Star Wars" into anything, whether it's a discussion of a new Cameron Diaz sex comedy or "Shoah." But in this case, I don't think I'm reaching. There's that scene in "The Empire Strikes Back" where Luke stands at the opening of a cave on the swamp planet of Dagobah, and he senses that his destiny lies inside. He turns back to his Jedi master, Yoda, and asks, "What's in there?" And Yoda replies quietly, "Only what you take with you." Well, you faithful are basically standing at the opening of a dark theater showing "The Other Woman," peering inside, and asking me, "What's in there?" And my response is the same as the little green dude's: "Only what you take with you." If you are a woman who has a history of dating bad boys; if you've been cheated on, jilted and dumped and are still bitter about it; if you generally hate the male species overall... if that's what you take into the theater with you, you're going to have a good time with this broad comedy. You will laugh hard and often at the comeuppance the cheating, thieving, no-good S.O.B. husband gets in this flick. And if you're a straight, heterosexual man? You get Kate Upton running in a bikini in slow motion. Why is this not in Real-D 3-D?! Then again, I think if you are a hard-core feminist, you are going to bristle a lot during this film and not like it so much. It doesn't exactly paint women in the best light. The three female leads - Diaz, Leslie Mann, and Upton - bond over being mutually cheated on by the same man even though he is obviously a letch. They pound back the wine and liquor and can only move on after they have sufficiently exacted revenge on the guy by spiking his morning shakes with estrogen, spiking his evening whiskey with laxatives, replacing his shampoo with hair removal cream, and... oh... robbing him of hundreds of thousands of dollars he has illegally funneled into dummy companies registered in the Bahamas. Diaz stars as Carly, a Type-A Manhattan lawyer who discovers the Mr. Right (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) she has been dating has really been Mr. I'm Actually Married. She ends up bonding with the man's chatty, but meek wife Kate (Leslie Mann). They then end up bonding with the man's OTHER mistress, the gorgeous twenty-something Amber (Kate Upton), and plot to bring him down. Directed by Nick Cassavetes, the film comes close to earning a passing grade for all audience members mainly because Mann and Diaz are quite good together. Mann sheds the shrill, shallow, henpecking wife she played in "Knocked Up" and "This Is 40" to cut loose with a character who gets nuttier and nuttier the more wine she consumes and the closer she gets to breaking free from her farce of a marriage. Diaz, meanwhile, finds a few new notes to play in the cliché character of an ice queen in need of thawing. As for Upton... did I mention that she runs slo-mo in a bikini? The problem here is the screenplay by Melissa Stach. It drags. It takes way too long getting the three leads together. And it takes way, WAY too long to get to the revenge plot. But for its core audience, as Yoda would say, "Like it you will. Scumbags men are."

 

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