When I first heard about ‘The Other Woman’ I was cautiously optimistic about it: a movie about ladies working together against a cheating partner and supporting each other throughout it all, why wouldn’t I like it?
But as always I wasn’t excited about it enough to spend the $20 to see it in the cinema and then I forgot about it until just recently. So I took this opportunity to check it out and see if it was as good as I had hoped it would be.
- It’s a story about ladies supporting each other, which is something we should all be encouraging rather than telling girls and women that we should be constantly competing against each other. There are multiple scenes where the 3 main characters help each other to get through the hard situation they’re in. We need more films about these sorts of relationships – not necessarily romantic relationships, but the ones where people lean on each other and are able to grow as people because of their friends.
- I also loved the level of communication they had with each other. When Kate (the wife) suspects Carly (the first ‘mistress’) is still sleeping with Mark she calls her out on it, and in turn Carly tells Kate how hurtful the accusation was. There is a high level of trust between all three of them, and they notice when one of them is upset – Kate is not comfortable with Amber (‘mistress’ number 2) sleeping with Mark to reduce his suspicions, and both Carly and Amber notice as much. Carly checks in on Kate and Amber backs out of having sex with Mark, because they both could tell Kate wasn’t OK with it and they respected her feelings.
- They also stayed friends after getting their revenge and continued to support each other in their respective lives. Ladies being friends! Having lives and conversations not based around men!
- I also loved the absolute lack of victim blaming in the film. Carly and Amber didn’t ever think it was Kate’s fault that Mark was sleeping around, and both of them stopped the relationship (apart from the revenge aspect) once they realised what was going on. With so many stories in the media about how the wife and the ‘mistresses’ finding out about each other and trying to rip each other to shreds it was a breath of fresh air to not have that storyline at all.
- ‘The Other Woman’ is a very white movie. All the main characters are white, except for Nicki Minaj’s character who, honestly, was one of the reasons I was interested in this film to begin with. Even most of the background characters are white if they’re on screen for more than a few seconds, except for when they go to the Bahamas. I went back and made notes on how long Nicki Minaj was on screen in this film and in total it was less than 4 minutes. Out of 1hr 49 min, the only black character with lines was on screen for under 4 minutes. In 2014. This is ridiculous, and it felt more ridiculous the longer the film went on.
- On top of that they have a completely unnecessary scene based in a club (I guess you’d call it that?) called ‘No Hands’ where Vietnamese ladies give shoulder massages and feed you so you don’t use your hands. Carly at least seems to be uncomfortable with the place, while her dad says that being in Vietnam, I’m assuming referring to the Vietnam War, was the “best years of [his] life”. Yes, the war where it was very well documented how terrible it was for everyone involved is used in a throwaway line. Plus if the place was Vietnamese like they claimed then the people in there surely should have been wearing traditional Vietnamese clothes, rather than Chinese Cheongsam? Not only is this lazy writing for having that scene, but it’s also lazy costuming to just get the ladies to wear something Asian and not care where it was from. I spent 10 seconds goggling to see if there was a difference in clothing and what do you know, there is! I found an article that breaks it down quite succinctly to make it very easy to understand! The fact that no one spent the minimum amount of time to just double check this makes me so annoyed. Basically this whole scene could have been set somewhere not racist and it would not have affected the story at all and then I wouldn’t have had to rant to people about this.
- The movie was also a bit trans-phobic, which coupled with the casual racism really turned me off the film. They put oestrogen in Mark’s morning smoothies for some reason, which apparently results in big sensitive erect nipples and nothing else. This is another example of lazy, shitty writing for a cheap laugh because there is so much information on the internet out there about the affects of oestrogen for trans ladies and how long it takes to affect them. It shows the people involved in the movie just didn’t care enough to make it accurate. They also made another trans-phobic joke where Amber asks Mark to take part in a threesome, claiming he’ll love Dana (the third party). Dana then turns out to be a man, complete with beard, in a dress and wig. She then picks up mark and sloppily tries to make out with him while he protests and Amber laughs in the background. This not only perpetuates the whole “trans ladies are just men in dresses” trope but it also reinforces the bullshit toxic masculinity deal where a threesome is ok if there’s 2 ladies, and that trans ladies are ‘tricking’ men into thinking they’re something they’re not. All of this shit needs to stop – it’s so damaging for every party involved and ‘jokes’ like this just reinforces the status quo. Those two scenes made me give the film a massive side-eye for the rest of the duration, and I ended up just waiting to see what else was going to be offensive.
- Other smaller annoyances were that Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s accent was all over the place; the poop jokes where they put laxatives into his drinks are not my kind of humour so that scene was just boring and unnecessary; and that Mark doesn’t seem to actually get in any trouble for embezzling money from his business partner – the last you see of him he’s ‘lost’ a lot of money and has broken his nose and his fancy car was towed away? Little things compared to the others I mentioned, but all things that detracted from the movie.
All in all it was a pretty forgettable movie. I won’t be watching it multiple times – even watching parts to take notes for this review was pretty unappealing and I avoided it for a few days. I would maybe recommend it to someone to watch as background noise while doing other tasks, but don’t pay too much attention to is or you’ll notice its flaws too much. Maybe just watch a different, less problematic, movie instead. While getting my thoughts about ‘The Other Woman’ organised in order to write this I realised that I was liking it less and less the more I thought about it. That’s not really a good thing, so even if you’re a fan of trashy romance movies I’d probably say give this one a miss.