Congratulations to Leslie for escaping Apatow Productions for once.

Nick Cassavetes, son of John (and Gena Rowlands), directed The Notebook, so he is on our side. And based on a few obvious cuss word loops and jarring story edits, The Other Woman was probably supposed to be an R-rated sex romp that was cut to appeal to a broader audience. (That’s definitely why there are two poop scenes, a dog and a man—thanks for that, Bridesmaids.) Plus Melissa Stack’s nice-try wannabe First Wives Club homage, about a cheating man (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) getting his comeuppance from both the wife (Leslie Mann) and mistress (Cameron Diaz), is undercut by the weird stuntcasting of model Kate Upton, who should stick to print. It also uses a version of “Love is a Battlefield” to score a girl-bonding moment, because nobody involved has seen 13 Going on 30, apparently. But, but, but: Mann and Diaz make a surprisingly entertaining comedy team, swiping at each other with impeccable timing; tossing off hilarious, seemingly improvised asides and engaging in impressive physical comedy. The third act is bizarre and out of comic step with the rest of the movie, but the whole enterprise is at least 40 percent better than you ever thought it could be.

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