Movie Review: The Other Woman

TheOtherWoman_2PosterTitle: The Other Woman
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate UptonNikolaj Coster-Waldau, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Kinney and Don Johnson
Writer: Melissa Stack
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Running Time: 109 minutes
Philippine Release Date: 7 May 2014

Official Movie Synopsis:
After discovering her boyfriend is married, a woman (Cameron Diaz) tries to get her ruined life back on track. But when she accidentally meets the wife he’s been cheating on (Leslie Mann), she realizes they have much in common, and her sworn enemy becomes her greatest friend. When yet another affair is discovered (Kate Upton), all three women team up to plot mutual revenge on their cheating, lying, three-timing SOB.

Official Movie Trailer:

Review In A Nutshell:
I liked The Other Woman; it had all the elements of a fun, light Hollywood fare. I just wished the unnecessary bits were not included. Doing so would have made it the perfect film to watch on a weekend date with your girlfriends to escape from this blistering Metro Manila heat.

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Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.

From The Mourning Bride by William Congreve

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WARNING: This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.

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Most of my friends know that I love rom-coms; it’s my quick, fun escape from the daily grind of my stress-filled worklife where I can laugh out loud to my heart’s content.  Whenever I see one that gets me interested, I find time to watch it even if there’s something else in the cinemas that would probably be worth the 200+ pesos I would pay for a ticket (clue: think webs).  Such is the case of The Other Woman which hit Philippine cinemas about four days ago and it stars Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton.

As the movie featured three gorgeous ladies, I will start off this review by sharing the three things I loved the most about The Other Woman starting with…

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LOVE: Leslie Mann

I have nothing but words of praise for this woman. Her portrayal of a clueless wife went way beyond my expectations. Her performance was both refreshing and effortless. She breathed a lovable kind of vulnerability to Kate, a character that can be seen as a wallflower compared to Carly and Amber. I cannot see any actress portray Kate better than Leslie so two-thumbs up to her.

I’m not saying that the other ladies are not good; it was really nice seeing Cameron Diaz again in a rom-com and newcomer Kate Upton was adorable. However, Leslie Man stood out for me more so props to her.

the other woman

Amber, Carly and Kate plotting their next move.

LOVE: Fashion & Music

As I was doing a bit of research for this review, I learned that Patricia Field (of Sex and The City fame) was the costume designer and I loved how she dressed her actresses in tune to their characters — it matched very well that you get a good sense of their personalities just by the way they were dressed.

And since I’m a soundtrack junkie, I shazamed the music featured in the movie, which was a great mix of contemporary (Lorde, Raining Jane) and classic (Etta James, Cyndi Lauper) tunes. However, the one song that stood out for me was The Sun Is Rising by Britt Nicole: it felt very appropriate for that scene when Kate threw her engagement and wedding rings, finally accepting the truth about her husband and that it was time to move on.

Scouting The Latest Victim

Amber, Carly and Kate scouting the latest victim.

LOVE: Oddest Girlfriends Ever

Cheating is perhaps one of the easiest (and probably the most overused) conflict in every Hollywood offering that features love and romance as one of its main themes. I have seen far too many rom-coms in my lifetime to say that.  However, what made The Other Woman stand out for me is that it nearly echoed the plot points of The Feng Shui Junkie by Brian Gallagher, one of my favorite and frequently re-read books. The book features a lawyer who discovered her husband was cheating on her with a woman who was a Feng Shui junkie.  As she tries to get back at her husband and the other woman, she eventually gets to know the latter, realizes that they were both victims and befriends her.

When I read it the first time, I wished someone working in Hollywood would pick it up and make a movie out of it.  The Other Woman became sort of like a wish fulfilled for me. There was beauty in the oddness of the relationship that formed among Kate, Carly and Amber… so much so that I missed my girlfriends while I was watching. I liked the idea that something as positive as friendship can come out from something hurtful such as cheating. And it seems that the three ladies became good friends after the production wrapped which was clearly seen during their promotional activities.


 
And since the ladies ultimately scheme against one guy, I will share the one thing I hated the most which is…

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Kate and Lydia were not laughing here. So was I.

HATE: Unnecessary Slapstick

The Other Woman’s plot was good enough and it was served well with witty, truthful dialogue. I was expecting that the movie would have a Nancy Meyers-esque feel to it thus you can imagine my surprise at the slapstick scenes that were completely unnecessary. I know the movie is a romatic-comedy so some form of slapstick can be expected, but seeing that much stuff getting broken is over the top and completely unrealistic; case in point, an entire glass conference room explodes when someone walks through it. Yep, you read me right: a regular philandering Joe has the power to break not one but four glass panels.  There’s even blood involved (ew). Save for some scenes which all included Leslie Mann, the slapstick injected into the movie was generally ridiculous, too in-your-face and annoyingly distracting. I am aware that I am watching a romantic-comedy; I do not need to be reminded of it every 15-20 minutes.

Two of my favorite lines from the movie.

Two of my favorite lines from the movie.

I liked The Other Woman; it had all the elements of a fun, light Hollywood fare. I just wished the unnecessary bits were not included. Doing so would have made it the perfect film to watch on a weekend date with your girlfriends to escape from this blistering Metro Manila heat.

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My Rating:
3 out of 5 stars

My Two-Cents:
If you like slapstick comedy, go ahead and check it out. If you do not but you can ignore it because the plot is interesting enough, watch it.  Skip it entirely if slapstick comedy is absolutely not your thing.

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COPYRIGHT NOTE:
All the images featured on this blog post can be seen on The Other Woman’s official movie website and Facebook page.

Food Stall Review: Manam Express

1502737_802711426421916_31361729_oFood Stall Name: Manam Express
Product: Filipino Comfort Food
Location: Food Choices, Glorietta 4 and Trinoma
Price: Php 149.00 (minimum)

Review In A Nutshell:
I’ve had a lot of mediocre to unpleasant experiences when it comes to Filipino food served in communal joints located in malls but that changed when I tried out Manam Express. It easily became one of my favorite places to eat.

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Truth be told, aside from books, another passion of mine is eating really good food. I like to cook so being able to sample good food once in a while is a must for me. When I can afford it, I like to eat out and try new restaurants. However, my usual lunch fare is pretty much what our cafeteria offers (which is free) or, if the menu has become too predictable for my own taste, I go to the mall and eat at Food Choices, Glorietta 4.  In one of those trips, I decided to try out a relatively new food stall, Manam Express. Since then, it has easily become one of my favorite places to eat.

Eating Your Way at Manam Express

Eating Your Way at Manam Express

Manam Express describes their meals as “Comfort Filipino” and in typical food court style, it’s prepared and served fast.  I didn’t have high expectations, only because I’ve had a lot of mediocre to unpleasant experiences when it comes to Filipino food served in communal joints located in malls.  However, I was surprised by the amount of care the servers gave in arranging my entire meal in one plate: it was clean and presentable. The best part: the food was so delicious and fresh that I found it hard to believe it only cost me Php 149.00 for everything. Now, that’s what you call value for money.

My first-try plate from Manam Express: Garlic Rice, Gising-Gising and Bagnet-Style Pork Belly

My first-try plate from Manam Express:
Garlic Rice, Gising-Gising and Bagnet-Style Pork Belly

Aside from the taste, price and swift preparation, I think what makes Manam Express such a hit among customers is its make-your-own-combo-meal concept: you can have a different plate every time you visit.  You get to choose from among 4 varieties of rice, 6 viands, 6 vegetable side dishes and 4 sawsawan (this bit I love because no Filipino meal is complete without one); imagine the number of meal combinations you can make. And the free soup is not just some poor excuse for a broth; it has flavor which is great if you’re the kind of person who enjoys putting some soup on your rice.  Aside from these, Manan Express offers Filipino-inspired beverages and desserts such as turon and mais con hielo, which are definitely worth trying out.

In all my visits, Manam Express have not disappointed me and I always look forward to the next one.  Sometimes, I secretly wish that our cafeteria menu would be boring just so I can go up and eat there, even if it means spending another 149 pesos or so for a plate of their flavorful meal.

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My Rating:
5 out of 5 stars

My Two-Cents:
If you ever find yourself in Glorietta 4 or Trinoma and you’re looking for really good Filipino food at an affordable price, pass by Food Choices and try Manam Express.  Also, don’t just stick to their menu, try out try their beverages and desserts even if it means spending a little more. I personally love their Kape, Sago at Gulaman drink and ChocNut Leche Flan (so sorry, I wish I could share pictures of these two; I only remember that I need to take one after I’ve finished them off).

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DISCLAIMER:
This is not a sponsored blog post. Like my other product or food-related reviews, I purchased the product and tried it out.

The logo image above is courtesy of Manam Express’ Facebook page. Other images featured are my own.

Event Spotlight: Tahereh Mafi, Ransom Riggs & Veronica Rossi Book Signing Tour

Hi guys! Hope all is well with you. I know I haven’t been blogging much these days but I’m taking some time off from my self-imposed hiatus to share this event, which is on-going right now (really, like at this very moment):

TRV_Poster book signing tour

Official Press Release:

National Book Store brings three New York Times bestselling authors—Veronica Rossi, Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs—for book signing events on April 26 at 2 pm in the Glorietta Activity Center and on April 27 at 2 pm in The Gallery of Ayala Center Cebu.

Veronica Rossi is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Under the Never Sky trilogy, a post-apocalyptic young adult series. Foreign rights to the trilogy have been sold in over 25 territories and film rights have been optioned by Warner Bros. entertainment. Described by Examiner.com as “an unforgettable dystopian masterpiece,” and deemed as one of the Best Books of the Year by School Library Journal, Under the Never Sky follows the story of Aria, who meets Perry after being exiled from the enclosed city of Reverie because of a terrible incident. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine who will survive the Death Shop, a place full of cannibals and violent energy storms. Aria’s journey continues in Through the Ever Night and Into the Still Blue.

Tahereh Mafi first visited her Filipino fans in 2013. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Shatter Me, the first book in a trilogy, which has received positive reviews from Booklist, Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly among others. Shatter Me is currently being sold in over 25 foreign territories and has been optioned for a movie adaptation by Twentieth Century Fox. Ostracized and incarcerated her whole life, seventeen-year-old Juliette is freed on the condition that she use her horrific abilities in support of The Reestablishment, a post-apocalyptic dictatorship, but Adam, the only person ever to show her affection, offers hope of a better future. The story of Juliette continues in the sequel Unravel Me, and the heart-stopping conclusion Ignite Me.

Ransom Riggs is the author of the bestselling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which became part of the New York Times bestsellers list for 52 consecutive weeks. The movie adaptation is currently in production which will be directed by Tim Burton and penned by X-Men: First Class writer Jane Goldman. Sixteen-year-old Jacob journeys to a remote island off the coast of Wales as he tries to recover from the tragic death of his grandfather. There he discovers and explores the ruins of Miss Peregrine’s home where he meets the peculiar children who once lived there and finds out that they may still be alive and in danger. The sequel to the book, Hollow City, continues the journey of Jacob and his friends as they flee to London, the Peculiar capital of the world.

The events are made possible in partnership with Raffles Makati, Glorietta and Ayala Center Cebu.

Books by Veronica Rossi, Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs are available in National Book Store and Powerbooks. Shop online and buy eBooks at nationalbookstore.com. Follow National Book Store on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@nbsalert) for updates on the latest events, promos and contests.

I was just at the Glorietta Activity Center a few minutes ago and the crowd was ridiculously huge.  Just check out the picture I took below:

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I learned that nearly two thousand fans lined up to have their books signed and the earliest one was at 1:54 a.m.! To borrow Ransom’s quip when he saw the crowd, “this is insane!”

It just proves that Pinoy readers rock. We really love our books and support the authors that wrote them.

Tomorrow, the three authors will be going Cebu! I’m so excited for Cebuano fans to meet them and have their books signed.

Congratulations National Book Store for another successful book signing event! We are definitely looking forward to the next one.