'Comedy' hits new low
I know this will come as a shock but from time to time I meet people who don't entirely appreciate my movie reviews.
Occasionally readers tell me they went to see a film that I raved about and came out of the cinema feeling depressed and consequently unhappy with me for recommending it.
Over the years these titles have included Animal Kingdom, Little Children, The Road, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and last year's Prisoners.
What can I say? We all have a dark side.
The most common complaint is that I'm not hard enough on the films I review. Typically people say: "you hardly ever give anything less than three-and-a-half stars, which is way too generous".
In my defence, most of the time I only see films I want to see and, the truth is, I enjoy a wide range of genres.
I would, however, like to dedicate the following review to everyone who thinks I'm too soft.
The Other Woman (M), starring Cameron Diaz, is supposedly a comedy about three women who all discover they're being cheated on by the same man and set about getting revenge.
I say "supposedly" because, in fact, The Other Woman is the least funny so-called comedy I've seen in a long time.
Diaz plays Carly, a high-powered New York lawyer in an intense relationship with a sharp-dressing businessman named Mark played by Danish star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
One day she decides to surprise Mark at his house in Connecticut and discovers he is actually married to a woman named Kate played by Leslie Mann.
After becoming friends (as people typically do in these situations) the women discover to their horror that Mark is having another affair with the much younger Amber played by Kate Upton.
The opening shots of The Other Woman are easy on the eye and for about five minutes you get the feeling it might not be all bad. Sadly that sense of hope is soon obliterated by a lame, utterly predictable, tired, lazy, surprisingly dated and worst of all unfunny screenplay that doesn't take the audience anywhere it hasn't already been far too many times before.
Compounding the awfulness is the fact that the laugh-less script reveals in almost blinding light just how deeply unfunny its stars Diaz and Mann truly are.
Give some people a script that sucks and they'll still make you laugh.
If you gave Kristen Wigg or Rose Byrne those roles, they would have found a way to crack you up.
Hell, if you put anyone from Bridesmaids in those parts they would have found something in them to score some laughs.
Diaz seems to think yelling at everyone is somehow hilarious while Mann is under the illusion that there is something entertaining about a 42-year-old woman acting like a demented child.
Things go from bad to worse when the two women are joined by Upton.
Best known for her appearances in the annual swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated, Upton couldn't act her way out of bikini and looks like she has no idea what she is supposed to be doing other than throwing her hips around and smiling a lot.
The other thing that makes The Other Woman so unlikeable is that just about everyone in it is selfish, vacuous or a combination of the two.
They're not even selfish and vacuous in an interesting way.
The only bright spot for me was a few tragically short but nevertheless memorable appearances by 1980s superstar Don Johnson playing Carly's dad.
At 64 the man who inspired a generation to wear yacht shoes without socks has clearly still got it.
The worst film I've seen so far this year.
Also screening: The Grand Budapest Hotel (M) brilliantly batty. ★★★★