Metro Reel Guys: “anti-romance flick about sex, lies and adultery.”
By Richard Crouse & Mark Breslin – Metro Canada Reel Guys
SYNOPSIS: Married man Mark King (Game of Thrones’s Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) tries to push infidelity to Tiger Woodsian heights by cheating on his wife (Leslie Mann) with multiple mistresses, including Carly and Amber (Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton). “We got played by the same guy,” says Carly.” The three women form an unlikely bond—“We are the weirdest friends ever,” says Carly—drowning their sorrows in a sea of tequila shots before hatching a plan to humiliate and financially ruin the three timer. “The three of us can be just as shady as he can.”
Richard: 3 ½ Stars
Mark: 2 Stars
Richard: Mark, with The Notebook director Nick Cassavetes made one of the most romantic movies of recent years. With The Other Woman his pendulum has swung in the opposite direction. This is an anti-romance flick about sex, lies and adultery but it is ripe with laughs and some fun performances. Mann goes all in as a Lucille Ball-on-the-verge-of-a-nervous-breakdown type, Diaz has great comic timing and even Kate Upton, who will never be accused of giving Meryl Streep a run for her money, is charming and funny. It’s not Bridemaids funny, but I laughed out loud quite a few times. You?
Mark: Is it possible to like a movie but hate its sexual politics? Because that’s how I felt about it. I laughed, especially when Leslie Mann was onscreen. This movie is certainly her personal best. She’s amazingly loose and funny, especially in the first third of the film. But the revenge plot against the cheating husband left me feeling queasy. He’s set up as such a cardboard lothario that he made the Kate Upton character look deep. There’s a positive male role model in the film—Mann’s brother—but he’s so anodyne and threat less that I couldn’t take him seriously as a character. The movie is interesting as a series of Rorschach about how women must view men—either cads or eunuchs—but I had to banish these thoughts or I couldn’t enjoy the comedy.
RC: I see what you’re saying, and I suppose the film is a bit mean spirited and not terribly subtle in its examination of the dynamics between men and women, but it does get the girl power stuff right, and I think that’s more the point of the film. This isn’t a movie about the men, they are simply the McGuffins that forward the plot. This is a movie about female bonding rather than female blaming.
MB: Anyway, at least it’s a good-looking movie, and the women’s outfits are chic. Don Johnson is given a part that’s more than a cameo, but less than a role. I think he could have been onscreen more with a beefed-up part. But Nicki Minaj, as Diaz’ assistant, steals every scene she’s in. I thought she was a hoot. Richard, did the soundtrack bother you? Such obvious choices, like “New York, New York” when the husband enters the city, or the Mission: Impossible theme when the three women tail the husband to find out what he’s up to.
RC: Absolutely. The soundtrack is as subtle as Coster-Waldau’s cheesy pick up lines. Five minutes in I was willing to bet “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun would play… and I would have won that bet.
MB: And I bet the women will cheer and the men will groan at this flick.