THE OTHER WOMAN (PG13)
109 minutes/Opens tomorrow/ *
The story: Carly (Cameron Diaz) is a lawyer who seems to have it all: A surging career and a strong relationship with sexy entrepreneur Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). After she discovers that Mark is married to Kate (Leslie Mann), the pair plots to find out the depth of Mark's deception and uncover a third woman, Amber (Kate Upton).
Three unlikeable female characters team up in the most improbable way to form the basis of the least funny comedy you are likely to see this year.
Lazy premise is piled upon overused gag as this overlong work grinds on to its inevitable, tiresome corporate- sponsored happy ending.
What could make an angry victim like Carly (Diaz) form an alliance with the love cheat's spouse Kate (Mann)? Alcohol, of course. Diageo, the world's largest producer of spirits, is a film sponsor and it certainly got its money's worth. The same liquid loophole is used several times to make the script's preposterous conceits happen. If there were a prize for most hardworking screenwriting tricks, the statuette here should go to the trio of gin, tequila and vodka.
In one scene, Carly decides it would be much too odd and cliched for her and Kate to bond, to end up "braiding each other's hair", in her words. Yet this is what happens (through the magical friend-making powers of booze, naturally) although instead of hairdos, they bond over a mutual love of shoes. The film-makers apparently do have a bit of pride.
The footwear, drinking and the music montages will remind viewers of the Sex And The City movies, a feeling reinforced by the characters' obsession with men and status.
Female status here is measured by youth and cup size (swimsuit model Kate Upton here taking on her largest - no pun intended - screen role yet).
Rapper-singer Nicki Minaj, who apparently looks dipped in plastic all the time, is brought in to fill the standard sassy black friend pigeonhole, playing an assistant to Diaz's character. Both Minaj and Upton serve no purpose in the story and must have been included as youth marketing. Forty-something women like Mann and Diaz, it seems, cannot sell a movie by themselves.
The number of time-filler music montages, whether fuelled by booze or sober, must set a record for a female- bonding film.
No matter how you feel about Sex And The City's politics, it at least embraced and made explicit its anti- feminist, guilty-pleasure agenda. On the other hand, this movie can be likened to its lead character Kate: It's too confused and tipsy to embrace anything other than another drink.