There’s been a lot of discussion and debate about The Other Woman – the movie has presented itself as a revenge comedy about strong women, but has frustrated a lot of women due to its inability to even pass the Bechdel Test. The plot is pretty basic – lawyer Carly (Cameron Diaz) is delighted with perfect new boyfriend Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) – until she realises that he’s married. She befriends his wife (Leslie Mann – playing the likable but neurotic woman who she seems to play in every role) and other girlfriend (Kate Upton) and the three women team up to plot revenge.
This is not a great movie. It’s certainly a funny movie and there are some definite upsides to it. Three years after Bridesmaids proved that there is a broad market for smart comedies about well-rounded women, there’s still a gap in the market for comedies featuring interesting women. The Other Woman is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t quite fill the gap. It’s worth remembering that The Women, which featured cliches of the “first wife” at war with the “trophy wife” came out only about five years ago. This movie is certainly smarter and there really are seed of a smarter movie. Leslie Mann’s character, a woman who gave up her career to support her husband and is terrified at the idea of starting over after 40. It’s obviously a situation that exists these days and in Mann’s portrayal, you could see how a great movie could have been made about her career path, rather than Cameron Diaz’s character, who seems to take more vacation days than any partner in a law firm that I’ve ever met. The characters played by Kate Upton and Nicki Minaj seem to exist merely for the movie to oogle their bodies. This is, however, a movie dealing with character who innately know that when you are cheated on it, it’s not the fault of the other woman – and a film starring women and written by a woman, which doesn’t happen nearly enough. I suppose you could argue this is the Twilight of women-led romantic comedies: not that great a movie, but breaking barriers for better movies to come.
Strawberry Cheesecake Brownies (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
4 ounces unsalted butter
3 ounces dark chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
2/3 cups plain flour
8 ounces strawberry cream cheese
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon strawberry extract
Cut up the brownies – I loved the chocolate strawberry vibe!