"The Other Woman"
Leslie Mann plays a ditsy suburban wife who discovers and confronts her husband's mistress, played by Cameron Diaz. The pair quickly joins forces and decides to bring down their philandering man (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). In many ways this 'scorned women get back at their cheating man' movie feels like an updated version of "The First Wives Club" from 1996.
Though aimed squarely at women, this comedy had me chuckling throughout, due largely to the talent and charisma of Mann. Her willingness to make of a fool of herself, coupled with strong acting chops, elevates her into the realm of the top comedic actresses today.
Even the prickly Diaz delivered, well cast as a self-centered corporate lawyer who fancies herself the ultimate woman but is quickly brought down to Earth. As a bonus, it was a hoot to watch pop diva Nicki Minaj in a supporting role as Diaz's secretary. While her range was limited, Minaj added some sizzle in her first real foray as an actress.
The only problem with the film was that it ran out of gas two-thirds of the way through and for 20 minutes you'll be tempted to declare victory by turning it off. But stick with it and enjoy the girl-power conclusion.
Too racy for kids under 12 years old. (PG-13: sexual themes and language). 1 hour and 49 minutes.
Ratings (out of 4 stars):
Overall: 3 stars
Teens: 2½ stars
Adults: 3 stars
Seniors: 3 stars
Should you watch it? Yes -- light and enjoyable romantic revenge comedy.
I was delighted by the first "Rio" -- that inventive animated film by Brazilian director Carlos Saldanha that featured Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway as nearly extinct exotic birds who meet and fall in love amid the backdrop of a lively cartoon Carnival.
But this sequel feels forced. Perhaps the success of the first film and Brazil's ascendance to the global consciousness with the hosting of the World Cup was too tempting for Saldanha. The result is a disappointing rerun that borrows heavily from "Avatar," complete with an army of blue heroes fighting against the overwhelming forces of an evil businessman trying to level the natural habitat where our forest protagonists live.
Saldanha, who also co-wrote both "Rio" films, takes the pandering up a notch by including a scene focused on a do-or-die soccer match. It turns out the match doesn't matter at all in the end. Even the large cast of comedic actors, including the aforementioned Leslie Mann, along with George Lopez and Tracy Morgan, seem to be phoning it in.
Your children will like and then promptly forget all about it. Fine for kids as young as 3 years old. (G: mild peril). 1 hour and 41 minutes.
Ratings (out of 4 stars):
Overall: 2 stars
Kids: 2½ stars
Teens: 1½ stars
Adults: 1½ stars
Seniors: 1½ stars
Should you watch it? No -- unoriginal sequel to the hit kiddie cartoon.
J.B. Alderman lives in Piedmont and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.