Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"The Other Woman": A younger version of Madoff breaks some of the "rules for sleeping around"

The Other Woman” (Fox, directed by Nick Cassavetes) gives us a middle aged corporate philanderer Mark King (Danish actor Nicholaj Coster-Waldau), who has affairs with at least two other women behind the back of his stay-at-home Long Island wife Kate (Leslie Mann), one of whom is another assertive lawyer Carly (Cameron Diaz – yes, that’s female) who visits Kate King by mistake.  The other is a model, Amber (Kate Upton), who seems a bit peripheral to the real plot, but basically a playboy kitten.  (Because of the big budget, Fox fought hard for a PG-13 rating, which the smaller similar film about to mentioned didn’t have to.)

The trouble for Mark is that he broke some of the “10 Rules for Sleeping Around” (April 24).  In fact, this glitzy big-studio comedy seems to be a continuation of the low-budget farce I reviewed last week.  Kate’s brother Phil (Taylor Kinney) is a moderately likeable sidekick here, but this film has no “fratboy” character to run around naked – that is, no “attractive” males (for a gay audience).  This comedy is truly the majoritarian hetero corporate version of “10 Rules”.  There is a pooch who works with Cameron Diaz (even to relieving himself on the apartment floor of Carly’s 10-million Trump pad).  But compared to the low-budget comedy, this dog seems more professional, less spontaneous. Note: both comedies use some well-placed farts as sound effects. 
Working as an actor can mean letting your body be altered, and that may well befit your character.  The three women plot to ruin Mark both physically and financially.  They put Nair in his shampoo, and estrogen in his juice.  OK, some of his scalp hair comes out, but it doesn’t stay lost.  His breasts increase; but it seems like the writer (Melissa Stack) could have figured out a way to increase the utter humiliation, by having him lose all his body hair, too, permanently. (He gets to keep the scant wad in the center of his chest.)  Let him feel feminine.  That’s what “No-no” is all about.  By comparison with "The 40 Year Old Virgin" he was experienced, but no more. 
Instead, the movie (after a jaunt to the Bahamas, source of the first Bond movie with the “three blind mice”) arranges for Mark to be brought down as a younger Bernie Madoff.  Indeed, he is ruined.

The official site is here

I saw the film at the AMC Courthouse, on a rainy weeknight, and it was almost sold out. 

Don't confuse this with the Italian film by the same name when translated, reviewed here Feb. 24, 2010.  

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