Tart revenge comedy leaves a bad taste

Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Nicki Minaj and Kate Upton in The Other Woman. Photo: PA Photo/Fox UK Film
Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Nicki Minaj and Kate Upton in The Other Woman. Photo: PA Photo/Fox UK Film

Revenge is a dish best serve ice-cold and in generous portions in Nick Cassavetes’s romantic comedy of spiteful sisterly solidarity.

For the first hour, it’s a tasty dish laced with tart one-liners by screenwriter Melissa Stack, who deftly sketches the emotional bonds between a wife and the two other women, who have unknowingly slept with her skirt-chasing husband.

These scenes, in which the embittered spouse surfs a tidal wave of rage while the two mistresses wrestle with their guilt, achieve a pleasing blend of painful home truths and ribald humour.

Once the feisty femmes agree on a plan of attack to make the cheating husband pay for his bed-hopping sins, any subtlety in the script is supplanted by crude toilet humour and cutesy fairy-tale romances.

Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann spark appealing screen chemistry and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau possesses the right amount of charm and slipperiness to convince us that he could deceive so many women, and almost get away with it.

Kate Upton is surplus to requirements, but does provide a predictable final punch line for Diaz’s character’s father.