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Movie review: 'The Other Woman'

Watching Jaime Lannister s--t his pants just does something to you. I can’t explain quite what. But seeing the Kingslayer stuck on a toilet seat, begging other bathroom occupants to buy him a new pair of pants – well, lets just say it was particularly perverse, even for this “Game of Thrones” addict.

Leslie Mann, Cameron Diaz, and Kate Upton in 'The Other Woman'
Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox, used with permission

For the life of me, I’ve never understood the appeal of toilet jokes. And that’s why when I see them used again and again I’m always left pondering two potential truths: either I have no sense of humor, or Hollywood is just s--t out of ideas. In the case of “The Other Woman,” I’m leaning towards the latter.

The plot is one we’ve seen before: When Carly (Cameron Diaz) finds out that her boyfriend Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, the aforementioned "Game of Thrones" star) is married, she teams up with his wife Kate (Leslie Mann) and his hot young mistress Amber (“Sports Illustrated” model Kate Upton) to get revenge.

“The Other Woman” is essentially the grown-up version of “John Tucker Must Die.” Unlike that movie, however, this one boasts a strong, energetic cast that is clearly giving it their all. Unfortunately, they can only do so much with a script that calls for things like a dog pooping in the middle of Carly’s fancy Manhattan apartment, or Kate throwing up into her purse.

All of that was tolerable though, compared to the jokes that take aim at Mark. With his Prince Charming good looks, Coster-Waldau bears the brunt of the movie’s least funny moments. Spiking a man’s drink with laxatives and his smoothies with estrogen may have been deliciously naughty at one point in time, but that time has definitely passed. Matilda came up with funnier revenge pranks than this.

If it weren’t for Mann and Diaz, “The Other Woman” would probably fail on all counts. The laugh out loud moments have more to do with their pitch-perfect comedic timing than anything particularly clever within the script. Mann utilizes her naturally high-pitched voice to shape the manic Kate (the majority of her lines are delivered in pitches that usually only dogs can hear, but it somehow works in her favor), and Diaz is all attitude here as the foil to Mann’s Kate; she plays Carly as polished, put-together and tough. The addition of Amber to the group doesn’t change the dynamic much; Upton is given little to do other than flaunt her curves and look clueless, and she does a fine job at both.

"The Other Woman" is at its very best when it embraces the playful female relationships at its center -- like when Kate tackles Carly while they’re spying on Amber at the beach, or when the girls let loose together on a trip to the Bahamas. With “the lawyer, the wife, and the boobs” together, it’s silly but endearing girlfriend fun – fun that is abruptly put on hold at the first whiff of testosterone.

Rating: C+

For showtimes in Miami Beach, click here

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