Movie Review || The Other Woman

'The Other Woman' was much funnier than I expected, but it still managed to disappoint me.

Carly (Cameron Diaz) meets Mark King (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau of Game of Thrones fame) and their love affair is just what she's dreaming of. But she goes to surprise him after he cancels following a 'plumbing mishap', and strip-o-gram-surprises his wife (Leslie Mann). Kate feels as though she has no support system, and decides to befriend Carly to discover what's gone wrong in her marriage. The pair then discover that Mark is seeing a third woman, whom they also befriend. They also decide to take revenge on Mark in the only ways they know how: putting laxatives in his drinks, replacing his shampoo with hair remover, and feeding him estrogen with his daily smoothie.

There's nothing like a good revenge film, but by the end I had this niggling feeling that I was disappointed.

At first, I thought the film could have been a great feminist film. The fact that the women could be so open with each other about the cheating husband and direct their anger at the right person was a refreshing change to the usual competitive stereotypical reaction in such films, much like one of my other favourite films 'John Tucker Must Die'. But this is where the subversion of women fighting over a man ends.

I felt for Kate Upton in particular in this, her film debut, as she was really there to provide an object for the male gaze, aside from her equally attractive co-stars, and she hardly ever said anything worth remembering.

Throughout the entire film, the women are only concerned with the man who's disappointed them. Any conversations they do have that are not about Mark are almost non-existent, and when they are chatting - such as the scene where Carly and Kate are bonding over braided hair and dress-up (blech) - we actually hear no dialogue at all. Women's conversations are boring, anyway, right?

Moreover, they spend the entire film undermining Mark's masculinity in the worst way possible - yes, it's funny, but there is a limit and all it does is reinforce the stereotype of the honey trap and the bitchy woman. The ending in particular was just plain ridiculous. There was really no need to [spoiler alert] break his nose, have him walk through a glass wall, and then have Carly's father punch him in the nose for not calling a plumber? When there was actually never a reason for Mark to have had to call a plumber, because he lied about having a plumbing problem?

I really felt disappointed by the end of the film. The only woman empowered by the plot was Kate, who went on to be a CEO of several companies, while Carly and Amber both end up with their respective love interests.

Another strike for the film is the dearth of women of colour. Nicki Minaj also makes her film debut in this, but she only offers the sarcastic foil to Carly's successful lawyer trope. And don't even get me started on the 'No Hands' restaurant. SMH.

This is one of those stories that had so much potential, just like other female-led Hollywood films, like 'Walk of Shame'. When 'The Other Woman' first came out in America, it smashed 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' from top spot, proving that funny women leads are attractive to the viewing public. But the problem is that, in the end, they simply disappoint.

{Image credit: Facebook/TheOtherWoman}


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