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The Other Woman (2014)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 7/29/2014
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 7/29/2014
The term "chick flick" ostensibly refers to movies which were made for and marketed exclusively to women. However, this isn't always the case. Movies likeThe Help and Mean Girls may be about females, but they have appeal to a much broader audiences. But, films still come along which seem to aim for not just women, but a very specific part of the female market. The Other Woman fits this mold and it's the kind of movie which should not appeal to women, but embarrass them.
Carly (Cameron Diaz) is a successful lawyer who meets businessman Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and they begin a whirlwind romance. Carly, who usually shuns commitment, finds herself smitten with Mark, despite the fact that he can be evasive at times. One night, she decides to surprise him at home, where she meets his wife, Kate (Leslie Mann). Shocked, Carly flees, vowing to never see Mark again. So, Carly is stymied when Kate shows up at her office, looking for more information on Mark's infidelity. Despite the awkwardness, Carly and Kate do end up talking. Kate has been blindsided by this situation, and as her whole life revolves around being Mark's wife, she doesn't know what to do with herself. The two decide to team up to see what else Mark is up to. They discover that he leads several secret lives and that he's deceiving everyone around him. The two scorned women formulate a plan to give this conniving man his come-uppance.
When you get down to it, there are two kinds of "chick flicks": Those which want to reflect positive role models and empower women and those which take place in fantasy land. The Other Woman falls decidedly into the latter category. This is one of those movies which appears to take place in our world and presents us with real-life issues, but at no time does it come anywhere close to reality. There have been plenty of movies which have taken a light-hearted approach towards heavy topics, but they have allowed time for serious moments within the story. That is not the case with The Other Woman. Here we have a character who not only learns that her husband is a serial adulterer, but that he may have involved her in illegal activity...and everything is just cheery and bright. Instead of being devastated, this movie tells us that the answer is to get drunk and hatch a scheme.
"So, what's wrong with a little fantasy?", you may ask. Nothing, when it's delivered in small doses. The problem with The Other Woman is that it's such a giant dose of Hollywood pablum that it's insulting. Here we have a group of rich white people who never let anything get them down because life has no real consequences. They have their huge houses, expensive cars, beach retreats, and everything is just fine. Feminist ideals really take a pounding here, as we have Kate, the housewife who has lost her identity and has no idea what to do with herself if she's not serving her husband. During the first act, when we learn just how helpless and hapless Kate is, my wife said, "What hidden talent of hers will be revealed at the end so that she'll be OK?" Sure enough, she was right. I'm not saying that I wanted everyone to die at the end (OK, I did, but that's irrelevant), but a glimmer of reality would have given the film some much needed credit.
OK, let's sweep all of my nitpicking and cynicism to the side and just take the movie for what it is. Does it work as the fun comedy which was advertised? No. The jokes fall flat and they are of the most predictable variety. Lame sex jokes, pratfalls, and constant close-ups of "shocked" faces abound, but it is never funny. There is also a giant dog...which isn't funny either. I usually laugh at least once at even the dumbest comedies, but I don't remember even smiling at this movie. The worst part is that someone, presumably Director Nick Cassavetes (whose father is no doubt spinning in his grave), thinks that Diaz and Mann are simply hysterical, so we get scene after scene of the two of them chewing the scenery and mugging for the camera. This gets old very quickly. As for Kate Upton, she is given the minimum amount of lines here, and has zero impact on the movie. And I can't decide if she's pretty, but, according to my wife, no one is looking at her face.
I can certainly see a group of girlfriends getting together to watch The Other Woman and planning to have a great time. And maybe after a few Cosmos the movie will be funny. Otherwise, what you'll find is a series of also-ran jokes and a series of unrealistic scenes which are simply insulting. Make the wise choice and divorce yourself from The Other Woman.
The Other Woman must have had a multi-million dollar high heel budget on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD which runs at an average of 30 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing no notable grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look fantastic and the image is never overly dark or bright. The level of detail is very good, and save for some closeups, the image is rarely soft. The depth is good, most noticeably in the exterior shots. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 3.8 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. Being a comedy, we don't get a lot of dynamic effects here, but the stereo effects work well in the street and beach scenes. The music in the film sounds good, as it fills the speakers and provide some subwoofer action.
The Other Woman Blu-ray Disc contains only a few extras features. We start with eight DELETED/ALTERNATE SCENES which run about 10 minutes. Most of these are brief and don't introduce any new subplots or characters. This does include a very short addendum to the ending which shows Mark's fate. There is a 4-minute GAG REEL, which shouldn't be confused with "Giggle Fit" (5 minutes), which is one long scene in which Diaz and Mann can't get through a solid take. The extras are rounded out by a GALLERY of 13 stills and the THEATRICAL TRAILER for the film.
Review Copyright 2014 by Mike Long