Thoughtful reviews, the Boulder film scene

" I can safely say at this point that we are lost. "
— Heather Donahue, The Blair Witch Project

MRQE Top Critic

Winsor McCay -- The Master Edition

A new DVD offers an opportunity to see films by a master of animation —Andrea Birgers (DVD review...)

Gertie the Dinosaur, born of Winsor McCay

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Three women avenge themselves on a philandering man in The Other Woman, a witless comedy that forces stars Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann into indecorous displays of physical comedy as they grapple with a contrivance-laden script.

When the movie opens, Diaz’s Carly Whitten, an attorney, is ensconced in an affair with a handsome businessman (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Carly thinks she’s finally found her soul mate.

Diaz and frienemies
Diaz and frienemies

It doesn’t take long for Carly to learn that the man for whom she’s scrapped all other relationships is married to a character played by Mann. The script then labors to inform Mann’s Kate that her husband Mark is a serial philanderer and all-around louse.

The twist: Carly and Kate develop an awkward, odd-couple friendship that progresses from one in which Kate drives Carly crazy to one of mutual — if improbable — respect.

Lest the men in the audience become bored with all of this sisterly solidarity, Melissa Stack’s screenplay introduces another mistress, a bombshell played by model Kate Upton, who nicely fills out a swimsuit, as she did in the recent Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

Upton’s playing a character named Amber, and director Nick Cassavetes takes as much advantage of her pulchritudinous glow as possible.

Mann overdoes Kate’s whining to the point where it becomes abrasive: Diaz soldiers on as best she can, playing the savviest woman of this trio, a lawyer who is never shown practicing law.

Moderation is not a virtue here: Not content with turning Coster-Waldau’s character into a rotten husband, the screenplay also contrives to make him a felonious fraud.

I suppose it’s necessary to point out that Don Johnson (remember him?) makes a brief appearance as Carly’s pleasure-seeking father, and that a lively Niki Minaj portrays Carly’s secretary.

If you believe in any of these characters, you may be able to enjoy a comedy with a jukebox musical score and a sense of humor that turns a laxative joke into a comic high point. Need I say more?