Though Nick Cassavetes’ The Other Woman is effectively one joke which has been stretched out into a feature, there are enough funny moments to ensure that it is easy to indulge in; following on in the footsteps of films like Bridesmaids as yet another triumphant, female-centric comedy.
When Cameron Diaz’s Carly discovers that her boyfriend Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is in fact married, she confronts his beleaguered, blissfully unaware wife Kate (Leslie Mann). Rather than show disdain towards one another, they join forces and conspire against the cheat. Soon enough they gain a third member, as Amber (Kate Upton) is also a victim of this man’s adulterous ways.
While some jokes are somewhat obvious – like when the girls spike Mark’s drink with laxatives (a gag we’ve seen so many times before) – there are some brilliant moments, helped along by a terrific Mann in particular. She displays a steady balance of erratic behaviour mixed with a distinct vulnerability, making her not only the funniest character in the movie, but the most empathetic. Coster-Waldu also shines as a pantomime villain of sorts, playing the sleaze-bag with such conviction and making for a truly detestable character, which is a testament to his skill as an actor.
It’s his slimy tendencies, mixed with Mann’s sympathetic nature, which make this film watchable, as what’s born out of us investing in the characters is the eager anticipation of Marks’ demise. Though Cassavetes can be accused of tediously prolonging the build up to the punchline, when his comeuppance eventually does arrive, it’s simply a joy to watch.