Title: The Other Woman
HTS Overall Score:
Like horror movies, comedies are a dime a dozen and usually just as cheap. It’s always hard to create that perfect blend of wit, humor and tragedy that makes a good comedy great, and many times it doesn’t even hit good status. Such is the status with “The Other Woman”, a film that relies on tried and true techniques that seem a bit like a worn out leather seat, full of cracks and wrinkles when it SHOULD be smooth and silky to the touch. It suffers from using clichés and worn out jokes rather than try to blaze a new trail and just barely misses the mark. I remember looking at the trailer in theaters during winter and thinking to myself that this looked like a train wreck in the making. Being drug to the theater one late Saturday night I was certain that by the end of the evening I was going to be going to a psychiatrist for a mental breakdown, but actually ended up mildly enjoying myself, for “The Other Woman” falls just short of being a good movie. I’m not saying it’s great for a laugh, but there were enough chuckle worthy moments in the film to make me actually have a decent time and after watching it a second time on home video, I have to say it makes a semi decent rental.
Carly Whitten (Cameron Diaz) has it all, a great job as a lawyer, a nice place in New York City and a gorgeous loving boyfriend. After a fight she ends up going to his home (which she’s never been to) in Connecticut and finds out that she’s not the ONLY woman in his life if you know what I mean. Awkwardly extricating herself from the situation after meeting his wife Kate (Leslie Mann), Carly runs back to her life in New York with her cheeks burning red and vowing to never have anything to do with Mark again. This, of course, doesn’t work as Kate tracks down Carly in the city and comes to have a heart to heart with her. Both women are shocked and horrified at being played, with Carly not wanting to even TALK to her completion while Kate is breaking down. As a housewife she’s her only friends are the same friends as her husband Mark and the ONLY person that isn’t in his circle of friends is, you guessed it, Carly.
Instead of loathing each other the two girls surprisingly bond over their pain and form the most bizarre set of friends ever. Once they realize that Mark isn’t satisfied with just two, the pair of women track down the THIRD woman, only to find out that cliché’s are the most common experience ever as the third ends up being Kate Upton (well, here name in the film is Amber, but everyone is going to just point and say “Kate Upton!”). Seriously hurt and frustrated the three women decide that it’s now time for a little payback, as the film takes a serious girl power dive. We’ve got the classic torture methods such as putting Nair in his shampoo bottle, laxatives in his water etc. to make Mark’s life a living nightmare, but things get really interesting when they realize that he has been stealing money from his business associates in Kate’s name. Realizing that Kate could be sent to jail for fraud if anything goes sideways, the trio has to come up with a plan to get the money back to its rightful owners, exonerate Kate’s name and get back at Mark, all at the same time.
I was actually pleasantly surprised by the movie. I was expecting a complete nightmare of a horrible film and actually had a decent chuckle. Don’t get me wrong, this is not going to be labeled a great movie, or even a good movie, but it’s certainly entertaining as a onetime watch when you are bored on the weekend. Instead of focusing on the bad things that happen in a time like this, the film decided to take a much more positive tone and focus strongly one the relationships between the three women and not on the actual incident that caused this. The women realize that they have a common bond and have to take long hard looks at their lives and what they’re doing in this world. Kate has to deal with loss and how to move on, while Carly has to realize that what she had her sights on was blinding her to the other beautiful things in life (mainly Kate’s handsome brother Phil), while Amber………..well, Amber is 22 years old and a bit vapid so we’re not sure she actually DOES have much thought. It’s sweet, stupid and certainly clichéd into the ground, but comfort food is usually simple and eaten a million times over your life so having the same old thing isn’t always a bad thing.
The acting is a bit ham fisted and the plot certainly could have used some polishing. I cannot say it enough but cliché cliché cliché! The entire plot is based off of old stereotypes and a lot of eye rolling and this isn’t a fantastic acting job by any stretch of the imagination. For those of you DESPERATELY wondering if Kate Upton can actually act, don’t worry, I think the world is safe from her becoming a rising star as her delivery of lines is about as bad as Gina Carrano’s in “Fast 6”. Cameron Diaz has done this role a million times and doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but she has always had this intensity and fire in her acting style that serves her very well, both here and in the past. I’m not sure why, Leslie Mann isn’t statistically beautiful and her humor tends to be rather annoying, but I find her cute as a button in just about everything she’s ever done so I may be slightly biased here when I say I really enjoyed watching her character grow throughout the film. We can see the outcome coming a mile away but it’s enjoyable to see her be that adorably awkward, klutzy kind of doofus throughout.
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexual references and language
Fox’s 2.39:1 AVC transfer is probably the highlight of the entire disc. Razor sharp and full of life it pops with color and pizazz at every turn. The bright and cheery suburbs look perfect as can be and the beach looks like you can hop through the screen and just right in the ocean with the girls. Saturation is very solid and contrasts are well balanced. Skin tones are natural and everything looks really REALY detailed, from the freckles on Leslie Mann’s face down to the slight wrinkles forming on Cameron Diaz’s face (I know I’m feeling old when even Cameron Diaz is starting to show her age). There are a few soft scenes, but otherwise the movie looks amazingly with a nice thin layer of grain over the top. Even the dark scenes look fantastic as there is no evidence of black crush or washing out of the blacks. The disc is given a nice healthy bitrate since there really isn’t a ton of special features or audio tracks, so you aren’t going to see any annoying digital artifacts or compression issues.
“The Other Woman” sports a very solid 5.1 DTS-HD MA track that’s only real downside is suffering from a comedy film’s soundtrack, which results in a very front heavy track. The audio is crisp and clean, without any real issues to hear, and has a very decent dynamic range (I especially noticed the scenes where Mark is whispering into the phone, where you notice the change in pitch and volume levels compared to his normal tones). BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT, as you can guess there isn’t a wild amount of surround activity, and while you do get some decent ambient noise bleeding into the surrounds, the majority of the track stays very firmly in the front 3 speakers. LFE is nice, but not a powerhouse, as it fills out the movie very impressively with a nice low end, but there isn’t a lot of scenes where you can expect explosions to rattle your walls. The majority of it relegated to cars and doors slamming along with the musical score. A very decent track, but one that is mainly geared towards dialogue replication rather than a full immersive experience.
• Deleted & Alternate Scenes
• Gag Reel
• "Giggle Fit"
“The Other Woman” isn’t a great movie, it really isn’t even a good movie, but it still has its share of entertaining moments over its one hour and fifty minute runtime. It’s not going to give you a belly laugh, and certainly was a different film than I was expecting as it focused on the relationship between the three girls rather than the relationships between Mark and the women, but if bored on a Friday night you could do a lot worse for a rental. With very very good video and solid audio it’s definitely an eye and ear pleaser, at the very least. Recommended as a light rental.
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Kate Upton, Leslie Mann, Nicki Minaj
Directed by: Nick Cassavetes
Written by: Melissa Stack
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English Descriptive service DD 5.1, Spanish, French DD 5.1
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Blu-ray Release Date: July 29th, 2014
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