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'The Other Woman' is dazed and confusing

4/29/2014

First things first; the title "The Other Woman" is as confused as the rest of the film is. Even after exiting the theater, I'm still not positive who the main character is; and, by extension, who the "other woman" might be. Furthermore, the title "The Other Women" would have been more appropriate for a story about three women, not two, who are being played by the same guy.

First things first; the title "The Other Woman" is as confused as the rest of the film is. Even after exiting the theater, I'm still not positive who the main character is; and, by extension, who the "other woman" might be. Furthermore, the title "The Other Women" would have been more appropriate for a story about three women, not two, who are being played by the same guy.

In keeping with the theme of confusing 'others,' the respectable core cast, including Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, is joined by such befuddling choices as rapper Nicki Minaj and model Kate Upton. Minaj is ludicrous and consistently lowers an already low bar. Upton actually isn't terrible for her character, but she represents a blindingly obvious choice to cast a famous body over another quality actress.

Comedy veterans Diaz and Mann deliver sub-par performances for scenes that are very much in their wheelhouse. Even Coster-Waldau, who effortlessly exudes charisma and arrogance as Jaime Lannister in "Game of Thrones," fails to reach anything deeper than the bottom of one of those plastic kiddie pools.

My best guess for an explanation is poor, or downright incorrect, guidance from the director's chair. Somehow, that explanation also comes with a baffling companion piece. Director Nick Cassavetes' pitiful effort with "The Other Woman" is surprising when compared to his other work -- most notably the much loved, albeit critically mixed "The Notebook."

"The Other Woman" boasts, for the most part, a solid cast and a tried and true, if overused, premise. This should have been a walk in the park, but the entire thing felt very phoned in. I say we move on from this and look forward to what should be a very entertaining summer at the movies.

2 of 6 stars

James Gerstner works at Fort Hays State University.