Thursday, 24 April 2014

Review: The Other Woman

World of Blackout Film Review

The Other Woman Poster

The Other Woman
Cert: 12A / 109 mins / Dir. Nick Cassavetes
WoB Rating: 4/7

There are a few scenes in the opening act of Nick Cassavetes's new film where an emotionally stunned Leslie Mann ghosts around Greenwich Village with a glassy-eyed layer of disquieting melancholy, bringing to mind the classic work of Woody Allen, and the actress's hyperbolic performance backs this up, suggesting that a revealing, introspective movie may have been mis-sold in the trailer as a raucous Feminist-Lite™ comedy. This is soon forgotten, however, when we get a shot of a dog defecating on an apartment floor, and enough oestrogen-fuelled screeching to make us feel like we're trapped in a lift hurtling in free-fall toward the ground floor, with six different episodes of Loose Women playing on each surface at top volume...

Oh, not all the time, I should add that. But definitely some of the time. The script pulls some of the trailer's punches by having the 'reveal' of Nasty-Cheating-Man*1 be non-existent, and by letting the whole thing drag on for around 20 minutes too many, but all in all it's reasonably well done. I've seen two of the three leads in far worse, put it that way. Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton do well but seem frustrated in their roles as sassy-litigator and beach-bimbo, respectively, and everyone outside of the main trio of lead characters is purely cardboard; this really is Leslie Mann's film (even if some of her ad-libs do go on for 30 seconds longer than they're funny), and I'd like to see her in something weightier, if only to break her cycle of slighly-below-par-comedies.

The film just about scrapes though the laugh-test, but it'll be undemanding fluff at best, even for its target demographic. You've seen better, but you've seen way worse.

Oh, and it's official, now. Don Johnson and Trevor Eve have become the same swaggering, middle-aged, Blue Stratos wearing Lotharioid-Mechanism…

Trevon Johnseve.
(Actually, that comparison doesn't really do it justice. You'll have to trust me, they are the same thing, now.)

Considering how much this isn't aimed at me, I found The Other Woman reassuringly watchable, although at the same time it's still thoroughly pedestrian and exactly what I was expecting. Some solid performances bolster a shaky screenplay based on a tried-and-tested premise. Come for Kate Upton; Stay for Leslie Mann.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
The trailer's a bit snappier, if anything.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
Mostly, but I winced quite a lot, too.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
Oh, probably.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
This is a £3 DVD and ooh look, the Lambrini's on 2 for £5*2.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?
Not unless it's on at someone's house and I'm feeling too polite*3 to berate them.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
There isn't.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

And my question for YOU is…
I've never seen Nicki Minaj before. No, seriously. Is that actually her for real, or was it a comedic tribute to the late, great Kenny Everett?

*1 I watched a film about him for almost two hours and I don't know his name. His character was so unmemorable that I don't know his name. No, I won't look it up, why should the writer Melissa Stack get away with it that easily? The leads are Kate, Carly and Amber. He is 'the nasty man'. As opposed to 'the good man', whose name I also can't remember, but he's an incidental decorator, so yeah.
*2 Which tells you, I hope, everything I know about Lambrini. If 2-for-£5 is an realistic special-offer price, then I would like to point out that it was complete guesswork on my part. I do look for tramp-deals, but in the brown-beer department. Honest. Your Honour.
*3 Drunk.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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