The Other Woman runs out of story

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Starring Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann. Rated PG.

Cameron Diaz remains oddly likable even when appearing in dogs. But isn’t it time to call “Bullshit!” on Leslie Mann? She’s not funny, has zero tonal variety, and that chipmunk voice makes Shirley Temple sound like Marlene Dietrich. Of course, it’s tricky to imagine who would have the charm, chops, and screen appeal to redeem this sorry excuse for a rom-com, which insults women as a two-hour holding pattern, running out of its meagre material after less than 20 minutes.

There is some promise in the setup, which has Diaz as a sleek lawyer with a top Manhattan firm, complete with sassy secretary Nicki Minaj, presumably making her booty calls. Man (not Mann) trouble is the usual Achilles’ heel, so when she finally meets a dude up to her speed, we find out almost immediately that Mark (Game of Thrones’ Danish-born Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, “gotta-wanna” be struggling with his American accent) has dopey wife Kate (Mann) stashed out in the burbs. Such a slick player would never give his side-stuff the ol’ home address. But, sure enough, Diaz’s Carly shows up on his doorstep and learns the ugly truth.

Kate follows Carly back to the big city, where they uncomfortably bond over a plan to get even. Mark is two-timing them both, so they follow him to Miami and then to the Bahamas (free vacation!), the better to ogle Amber, played by Kate Upton, whose talent seems limited to what we can honestly call youthful vigour. The three eventually team up to exact a violent, scatological, and deeply self-hating revenge that makes them look even worse than Mark does. Well, that’s how a court of law would view it, anyway.

The slack direction by Nick Cassavetes, who should have changed his name for the gig, is naff enough, but far worse is the ploddingly idiotic script from Melissa Stack. We’re repeatedly lectured about Carly’s lawyerin’ skills and Kate’s software-idea thinkin’ (which hubby steals as part of his chicanery). But these you-go girls literally have nothing to talk about that isn’t man-related. The title leaves you waiting for some other other woman—you know, one who’s moderately interesting.

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