Kate Upton was always going to have to do more than conquer the Lost Continent and float in the Heavens in order to complete her quest for world domination. No, Kate’s perilous journey would involve her first major acting role, a challenge that has felled lesser swim-smokes before her. And yet, to the surprise of no one, Kate cat daddies her way through "The Other Woman," and emerges victorious. "Other woman"? I think not.
Kate plays Amber, a twenty-something who falls for the inherent magnetism of Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), who has one of those ambiguous tech consultant jobs movies drum up to explain how a guy can make wads of cash while taking off weeks from work for lavish getaways to the Bahamas. Amber and Mike are enjoying a fabulous weekend in the Hamptons when Amber discovers, during her flawless beach jog, that Carly (Cameron Diaz) and Kate(Leslie Mann) are wrestling in the sand behind her.
That’s when the two older women drop the bombshell: Mark cheated on wife Kate with Carly, cheated on both Kate and Carly with Amber, and cheated the audience into believing an experienced player like Mark would allow his three slam pieces to find each other with such relative ease.
Nonetheless, Amber feels remorse for being an accessory to Mark’s adultery. That's far different from Carly, who reacted dismissively when she discovered she was Mark’s piece on the side. Soon after, Kate absolves Amber of her sin, and the gals form a trio to get back at Mark. First, though, they enjoy a girl’s night out, getting sloshed at Kate’s brother’s Hampton house, where Amber executes a dance we've all seen before.
Kate’s revenge on her husband is minor—she spikes Mark’s breakfast shakes with estrogen—and Carly's plot to expose Mark's financial schemes leads to nowhere. It is Amber who sinks Mark by hacking into his bank account and discovering his fortune is sheltered off-shore.
Therein lies the savviness of Kate Upton selecting Amber as her maiden acting role, and the huge problem with "The Other Woman."
There’s an hour prologue detailing Diaz and Mann’s relationship before Kate Upton’s lead character is even introduced. The film starts with Diaz, whose character is a player in her own right, being angry at herself for getting suckered by Mark. Then Mann's character has a breakdown when she learns of Mark's creeping on the not-so down low, and freaks about possibly getting divorced, despite having no kids and Connecticut's easy divorce laws.
Both the script and director Nick Cassavetes embarrass Diaz and Mann repeatedly throughout the film, depicting Diaz’s powerful lawyer as petty and conniving and Mann’s creative genius as woefully dependent on her awful husband.
The main source of Diaz and Mann’s characters’ drive to destroy Mark is their fear of growing old and alone in New York City of the all places, where it's perfectly acceptable to be in your 40's and unmarried.
Haven’t Carly and Kate ever heard of Tinder?
All of this, though, is flattering for Amber. What makes playing Amber such a good start to Upton's acting career is that she aims small. There are relatively few lines for her to memorize, and her scenes are almost always with the other two leads. This allows Kate Upton to do what she does best: improvise.
"The Other Woman" sells itself as a tribute to sisterhood and female empowerment, but that theme is undercut by the inability of Diaz and Mann’s characters, who are lovely in their right, to get over one stupid guy. The only actress who comes away from the film empowered is Upton.
Which makes sense. She's the only reason any guy would sit through this movie anyway.