Now, I’m going to preface that I know I am not exactly the target demographic for this movie. I saw the trailer for this when I went to see The Single Mom’s Club (review here) and I thought the trailer was horrible so I guess I wanted to see this just to see how bad it could be.
The gist is that Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie Lannister from Game of Thrones) is married to Leslie Mann (Knocked Up, This is 40). He is also dating Cameron Diaz on the side, and neither of them know each about the other. So when Diaz shows up to his house as a surprise, she runs into his wife. In a strange turn of events, they end up befriending each other and trying to find out how to get even with this scumbag. As they follow him, they end up discovering a third woman (Kate Upton) and vow to get revenge on him. Nicki Minaj shows up as Diaz’s secretary and Don Johnson stars as Diaz’s father.
Leslie Mann is really the center of the film and she makes it work. I never saw This is 40 so I’ve only really seen her in supporting roles. This is the first time in awhile I’ve seen her in a film where Judd Apatow (her husband) wasn’t involved. She pulls some hilarious antics reminiscent of her stint in 40 Year Old Virgin but she manages to also carry some emotional moments as well, when the reality of her situation comes crashing down.
Diaz is fine but is relatively forgettable. Kate Upton was surprisingly better than I thought she would be.
What doesn’t work?
There’s a few big things. Firstly, aside from Mann’s excellent execution, most of the humor falls flat. Any movie that resorts to a diarrhea scene loses points for originality (anything after Dumb and Dumber anyways). That scene could be a career-killer for Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Just bad. And the way they “got even” with him in the end is painfully horrible and leaves you wondering what just happened. It goes in a weird direction in the last 5 minutes and had me super confused.
And let me address Nicki Minaj’s inclusion here. Why? I have no problem with her. In fact, I think she’s gorgeous and is an incredibly talented rapper (her verse in Kanye’s Monster is one of the best verses I know) but … she is not an actress. Every line she said was forced and you could almost feel Diaz trying hard to balance Nicki’s lack of charisma. Maybe she was trying to tone down her personality but it came off as a flat wooden performance and every scene she had stole life from this movie.
This movie could have been decent but there were also some decisions made in post-production that have me confused. The most notable (and jarring) decision was in regards to the music. No lie, there was a soundtrack of probably 20-something songs in this movie. And they were always jarring and distracting to the story. The one emotional scene in which Mann really shines was off-balanced by a weird tune. The songs also only lasted about 30 seconds and then would shift to another song, usually with a completely different mood. In a nutshell, music should be used to invoke the tone of the film but here it was used to an overabundance that distracted and detracted from the film.
This movie could have been funny. The premise is simple (though maybe cliche at this point). Leslie Mann carries the film, while everyone else does a decent job with what they’re given. The movie goes a bit overboard in an attempt to illicit humor and it mostly fails in these exaggerated moments. Add in a horribly executed and strangely composed musical score, this movie becomes a bit of a mess. Some people will like it for its in-your-face humor but it will fail to please most audiences. My instinct was to give it a 2/5 but I really enjoyed Mann’s performance and it tipped it just over the edge for me. But again… I’m clearly not the target demographic.