It is obvious from the title that “The Other Woman” is a movie about betrayal, but it is one with a refreshing twist. Instead of two women — actually three in this case — having catfights over some guy who has done them wrong, the women join forces to teach him a lesson.
“We didn’t want it to be a story about revenge,” says Cameron Diaz, playing hot-shot attorney Carly Whitten, who makes the mistake of falling for the lying, cheating, Mark King (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). “We wanted it to be a story utilizing the commonality of the three [women] having a relationship with the same man as the catalyst to bring them together , because otherwise these three women would not know one another.”
It is an impulsive, late-night, surprise visit to Mark’s home to help him “fix his plumbing,” where Carly discovers that he is married when his unsuspecting wife Kate (Leslie Mann) opens the door. Both women are shocked. Carly, who is adamant about not dating married men, returns to New York City, where she tries to get her life back on track after the disastrous confrontation, but Kate is having none of that, and turns to Carly for answers and consolation.
A very unlikely friendship ensues — Kate understands that Carly was not at fault — with some very funny physical comedy along the way — Diaz and Mann work together well, as Kate gets drunk in her despair at her husband’s deception.
In doing the film, Diaz says she didn’t experience a cathartic moment, “where we were like, ‘Oh, my God. I totally know how this feels.’ I think we have all gone through some kind of betrayal, whether it is a boyfriend, a friend, or a family member. I think that is why this is relatable to everybody as we all know what it feels like to feel that betrayal.”
Along the way, the movie posits the question of soulmates. Is there such a thing, and if so, is there more than one soulmate for each of us?
Diaz, who at 41 has never married but famously dated Justin Timberlake and Jared Leto, thinks so, saying, “I believe there are many soulmates [for each of us] because my soul has a lot of different facets. But in friendships, too. Friends, too, can also be soulmates.”
On the other hand Mann, who has been married for almost 17 years to producer Judd Apatow, isn’t as sure saying, “I’m like, ‘[Marriage is] really hard.’ My therapist says, ‘But that means you guys are meant to be together to work out all of your problems together.’ I’m, ‘Really? I thought a soulmate was … you are really supposed to be happy all the time.’ I guess Judd is my soulmate because we have a lot of hard times, but it’s great at times, too. So maybe that means he is my soulmate.”
Bonded by Mark’s betrayal, Kate and Carly discover that Mark is cheating on both of them with still a third woman Amber (Kate Upton). Kate draws Amber into their confidence. “It’s not only just a story about friendship and women, how we support one another and how we’re there for one another, but it also shows how different these women are,” Diaz says. “They have their own strengths and weaknesses, and those strengths and weaknesses help each one of them in their own way.”
Mark does get his just desserts in the end, but there is a romantic subplot along the way with hunky Taylor Kinney, who plays Kate’s brother Phil, which adds some nice relationship moments to the film. And you won’t want to miss the feature film debut of Nicki Minaj, who has much attitude as Kate’s assistant Lydia.
“The Other Woman,” directed by Nick Cassavetes from a script by Melissa Stack, opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, April 25.
Image courtesy: Barry Wetcher for 20th Century Fox