The Other Woman

 

Women (and men) who have caught their spouses cheating will enjoy the comeuppance received by deceitful scoundrel Mark King (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in The Other Woman. Revenge comes in many forms from the trio of women he’s used and the payback is rough.

Carly (Cameron Diaz) is a New York City attorney having a carefree romance with Mark—until she finds out he is married. Dutiful wife Kate King (Leslie Mann) is shocked to find out that hubby is messing around, but she isn’t overly angry at Carly, because Carly didn’t know he was married.

Kate and Carly become chums. Following a night of alcohol-fueled female bonding, the two follow Mark on a weekend trip to the beach. Conveniently, Kate’s brother Phil (Taylor Kenney) has a beach house near the spot where Mark is cheating with a third woman, Amber (Kate Upton). When Amber learns of Mark’s treachery, the getting even begins.

Coster-Waldau’s credibility as a sleazeball is easy to buy, considering that he also plays the amoral Jaime Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones. That character fathered two sons with his sister, tried to kill a small child and, on the latest episode, committed a particularly vile act.

Leslie Mann has been funny in movies before—mainly in Judd Apatow films since he’s her real life husband. But The Other Woman may be her funniest performance to date.

Also appearing in the film are a weathered-looking Don Johnson as Carly’s dad and Nicki Minaj as Carly’s secretary.

The film may remind you of 1996’s The First Wives Club in which three ex-wives seek to make life less happy for the husbands who dumped them for younger babes. In The Other Woman the take down is complete and funny.

Nick Cassavetes is the director. His best-known film is The Notebook, a love story that’s a favorite of many romantics. The Other Woman isn’t quite so touching, but its resolution should be satisfying to most women moviegoers.

And for the guys, we get a few seconds of Kate Upton running in slow motion on the beach. (Thanks, Nick!)

Django Unchained

Everything you’ve heard about Django Unchained is true. Quentin Tarentino is a fearless filmmaker. And one of the things he does not fear is excess. Django Unchained is a big movie (2:45 or so) with lots going on.

Set in the antebellum South when slavery was legal, DU will touch some nerves. Is this film racially charged? Yes. Will this film generate controversy? Yes. Does this film entertain? Yes. Is it violent? Oh, yes. Is it funny? You betcha! Django Unchained is the must-see film of the Christmas season.

Christoph Waltz as King Schultz, a German dentist turned US bounty hunter, gives one of the year’s best acting performances. His character is smart, funny and, at times, sensitive. He can also ruthlessly violent. He tries to purchase Django, played by Jamie Foxx, from among a group of slaves after Django tells him he can identify the wanted killers that Schultz is seeking.

Django ends up riding alongside Schultz, who promises to help Django find his wife from whom he was separated. The two enter a small village where townsfolk are stunned to see a black man riding a horse next to a white man. They visit a plantation owned by “Big Daddy,” played by Don Johnson, where Django discovers the wanted men.

The journey to find Django’s wife takes them to Candyland, the Mississippi plantation of Calvin Candie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Candie is a fan of “mandingo fighting,” which pits two slaves in a bloody, bare knuckles hand-to-hand battle. At the plantation, Django and Schultz scheme to secure Djanglo’s wife Broomhilda, played by Kerry Washington, from Candie. It’s not an easy mission to accomplish, thanks to interference from Candie’s loyal house slave Stephen, played by Samuel L. Jackson.

Foxx handles the title role with effective, appropriate restraint. DiCaprio, who’ll have that baby face throughout his life, is hard to buy as a nasty bad guy. Jackson gives a killer performance as the 70-ish senior slave.

Tarantino’s over-the-top script is filled with humor and surprises but also reveals a horrifying look at American slavery. One particularly memorable shot, lasting only a second or two, shows blood splattering on cotton bolls in a field. Other depictions of brutality are more direct.

As we’ve come to expect from Tarantino, the soundtrack is a knockout, with tunes ranging from recycled Italian Spaghetti Western songs to Jim Croce’s 70’s hit “I Got a Name.”

Django Unchained will likely generate polarizing media commentary and new devotees of Quentin Tarantino and his distinctive, highly entertaining film making. Not to mention a few awards nominations, as well.