As we approach the prime movie going summer season, I have to wonder: Where are all the movies for women? In the last few years they have been a major force at the box office. Looking back at the several weeks at the box office, there were barely any movies for women. Even the Entertainment Industry should know better. Kudos for the industry making inroads with minority and Christian audiences releasing a few movies during the first quarter. In an era of Frozen and The Hunger Games, we should expect more female programmed and Q1 and Q2 seems to be lacking. Well, at least Fox, who released The Heat last summer, acknowledges this audience exists with the release of The Other Woman. They saw how well The Heat did and knew to program and brand a female comedy during the months of superheroes and 3D.
Synopsis: After discovering her boyfriend is married, a woman (Cameron Diaz) tries to get her ruined life back on track. But when she accidentally meets the wife he’s been cheating on (Leslie Mann), she realizes they have much in common, and her sworn enemy becomes her greatest friend. When yet another affair is discovered (Kate Upton), all three women team up to plot mutual revenge on their cheating, lying, three-timing SOB.
With the lack of female driven movies, I hope the ones few and far between were better. I wished The Other Woman was funnier and had more slapstick humor. I laughed a little but wanted to laugh a lot more! I don’t blame the PG-13 rating which is a critical cop out, because comics can be somewhat raunchy and even classy while keeping it mildly amusing at a reasonable level. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the performances in the movie especially the always great Leslie Mann. Usually quality talent can get stuck in a mediocre to bad movie, but she rose above the material to give a vulnerable and funny performance. Cameron Diaz was even decent during some of the scenes (whom I normally cannot stand) while Kate Upton seemed to have a lot of the fun. Three female leads opening a movie is quite the task for a male dominated Hollywood, but not to worry. Women haven’t been to the multiplex in a while and this is ideal for a night out. What I enjoyed was watching another perspective on relationships from a woman’s point of view. Working with women in my office has been challenging and rewarding. This tables-have-turned premise was amusing for the female audience. Men who find the Kate Upton character as their ideal fantasy are probably least likely to enjoy The Other Woman.
It is important to acknowledge the disconnect between audiences and critics when covering a movie like The Other Woman. As a blogger who writes about movies, it is easier to admit this then someone who lives in The Critics Bubble. Maybe it isn’t fair to make that claim, but when many secular white men give negative reviews with movies meant for women, Christians, or minorities, take those reviews lightly. They aren’t the intended audience. (I do find negative reviews from women critiquing female driven movies more interesting and valid.) Yet, a stale and lifeless comic book movie earns rave for not being as bad as Daredevil. The lady humor offends and even enrages but the audience enjoys the fun escape. The Heat was a terrific example where a hilarious movie didn’t register as well with critics as This Is the End though the buddy cop movie was better. Many critics won’t think The Other Woman is a lady like movie, but the Hangover boys are hardly gentlemen and received significantly less complaints for their antics. Movies like The Other Woman are critic proof as eager female audiences seek to escape with a night out with ladies. They will show up for this one and have a great time. Sometimes that’s all that matters.
I’d rank The Other Woman a 5 out of 10, but it isn’t as awful as many critics think it is.