Monday, April 28, 2014

The Other Woman [2014]

MPAA (PG-13)  CNS/USCCB (L)  ChicagoTribune (2 1/2 Stars) (2 Stars)  AVClub (C-)  Fr. Dennis (2 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
ChicagoTribune (M. Phillips) review (C. Lemire) review
AVClub (I. Vishnevetsky) review

The Other Woman [2014] (directed by Nick Cassavetes, screenplay by Melissa K. Stack) will probably not win many academy awards.  There I said it ;-).  A lot of Cameron Diaz vehicles are like that (I think of the quite trashy but at times honestly very, very funny Bad Teacher [2011] ... yes she played there an awful teacher and on oh so many levels ;-).   I would also add that I find the current film's PG-13 rating very hard to justify (PARENTS TAKE NOTE...).  After all, teens and even children can be admitted to see R-rated films.  They just have to attend the film with an adult (usually a parent). 

Further, since the film's clearly adult focused / oriented -- there's not a single child or even teen cast in the entire film -- I'd honestly think that most teens wouldn't find the film particularly interesting.  It's basically about a fairly large bunch of (to teens) OLD PEOPLE (folks in their almost 30s, late 30s, 40s and beyond) acting "very badly."  Mom and dad might find parts of the movie quite telling or otherwise funny.  BUT I WOULD IMAGINE THAT THE AVERAGE TEEN WOULD QUICKLY NOTE: "HEY THIS FILM ISN'T ABOUT US _AT ALL_" and declare it "lame."  And they'd be RIGHT.

So what to say about a movie that's about adultery, adultery and more adultery? 

Well, at least the film shows pretty well the pain that the said adultery causes.  One can't help but feel sorry for "living far-off in the Connecticut suburbs" wife Kate King (played by Leslie Mann) who discovers that her Manhattan-working well-dressed wheeling-and-dealing "entrepreneur-of-some-sort" husband Mark (played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) has been cheating on her. 

One even feels sorry for the Manhattan apartment living, "living the dream" (even if previously "unattached"), late-30-something/40-something corporate lawyer Carly (played by Cameron Diaz) who thought she found "a soul-mate" (someone who could understand her) in the confident, ever well-dressed, above mentioned wheeling-and-dealing "entrepreneur-of-sorts" Mark.  He clearly knew Manhattan.  He clearly knew the "dog-eat-dog" pressures of life/business there.  And yet, he seemed to "stand above it all" ... finding time to be romantic with Carly despite the pressures of the pitch and the sell and the job. 

But then a life of "wheeling and dealing" in a high-stakes / "dog-eat-dog" world of commerce, especially if one's wife lives blissfully "far away in the suburbs" can present Temptations to use those "wheeling and dealing skills" (being "everything for everybody" in order to make the sale ...) in "other fields" besides business.  And so we find that good ole Mark even has another mid-late 20-something babe named Amber (played by true Sports Illustrated supermodel Kate Upton) squirreled away at a beach house in The Hamptons and finally another brown-haired, light-sundress-wearing beauty in the once Caribbean Pirate haven, more recently recast as a "tax haven," of The Bahamas.   Mark would make a few airline pilots, traveling salesmen and even spies jealous ... sigh ... ;-).  And yet in the end as I write this, I can't but feel a little sorry for him as well:  One _could_ say that he had arguably become a (up until he got caught) "multi-tasking monster" of our time, juggling _a lot_ of "balls" (yes, I get the double meaning ;-) "in the air."  YET LOOK AT THE DAMAGE TO SO MANY PEOPLE THAT HE CAUSED ...

Anyway, bottom line ... this is not necessarily a bad reflection piece FOR ADULTS.  But I still don't understand the PG-13 rating.  If I were a teen, I'd find the film "kinda boring/lame." ;-)

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