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Originally published Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 4:02 PM

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‘The Other Woman’: Mistress mischief is featherweight fun

Leslie Mann and Cameron Diaz’s comedic chemistry buoys a fairly familiar feeling in “The Other Woman.”


Seattle Times movie critic

Movie Review 2.5 stars

‘The Other Woman,’ with Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Nicki Minaj, l Taylor Kinney, Don Johnson. Directed by Nick Cassavetes, from a screenplay by Melissa K. Stack. 107 minutes. Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexual references and language. Several theaters.

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“You had sex with my husband 50 times?” the horrified wife asks the mistress. “Don’t you have a job?”

As dialogue goes, this isn’t exactly zippy, but Leslie Mann, as she does with all of her lines in “The Other Woman,” spins it into a happy cobweb of silliness. She plays Kate, a woman jolted out of her suburban contentment when she learns that her husband has a girlfriend: glamorous attorney Carly (Cameron Diaz), who hadn’t known that her new flame was married. The two women meet, form an uneasy alliance ... then learn that there’s a third woman in his life, Amber, who looks uncannily like supermodel Kate Upton. Mann’s character, though, is ready to accept the new recruit into their revenge-plotting ranks, noting that Amber’s gorgeousness “brings up our group average.”

Directed by Nick Cassavetes, from a screenplay by Melissa K. Stack, “The Other Woman” plays like “The First Wives Club” crossed with an exceptionally well-groomed female version of “The Hangover” — which is to say, there’s not much to it, but it’s featherweight fun while it lasts. (It could have been even more fun without a long, cringe-inducing toilet scene; now apparently required of all big summer comedies.) The interiors are pretty, the costumes often witty — I enjoyed a moment in which Kate’s canary-yellow sweater stood out in a Manhattan bar at lunchtime, bobbing in a sea of navy suits — and it moves along quickly enough that you don’t worry about it not making a whole lot of sense.

I’ve already forgotten the name of the husband, played with bland slickness by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (of “Game of Thrones”), but he doesn’t matter in the slightest; this movie’s about the trio of women at its center. Upton isn’t called upon to do much but bounce around and look dewily earnest, which she handles just fine. Mann and Diaz, though, make a surprisingly charming back-and-forth comedy team, with Mann once again demonstrating that she would have made a bang-up screwball comedienne in an earlier era. Her Kate, though no fool, repeatedly gets lost in her own forests of words, as she turns each line into a lilting, wandering journey. In one scene, drunkenly wearing her wedding dress and mainlining whipped cream from a spray can, she’s a hilarious picture of misery; you want to follow her, wherever she wanders.

Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or mmacdonald@seattletimes.com



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