The most important connection is friendship, not romance
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.
Carly Whitten (Diaz) is a tough-as-nails New York lawyer with a strict set of rules when it comes to men and relationships. When she meets Mark King (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), she lets her guard down and begins to fall for him. A spontaneous, surprise visit to King’s Connecticut home goes awry when Carly discovers that Mark has a wife, Kate (Mann).
A devoted super-housewife, Kate is shocked that Mark has been cheating on her, and Carly is furious to learn that Mark is a married man. But instead of directing their outrage toward one another, Carly and Kate slowly begin to bond over their joint enemy, and, with help from Amber (Upton), a third woman caught up in Mark’s lies, they conspire to give him what he deserves. As their strategies become more ingenious, their bond grows stronger.
Producer Julie Yorn had long been looking for a comedic vehicle for a strong female duo or ensemble, when she latched on to an idea by screenwriter Melissa K. Stack. Yorn explains why Stack was the right person for the job: “Melissa had such a dry perspective and such intelligence, and we fell in love with her. I can count on one hand how many times this happens, but we got the first thirty pages of Melissa’s script and I said, ‘We’re making this movie.’
The initial conversations around the story began with Stack declaring what she didn’t want to see: “I said, ‘I don’t want the wife to be a doormat or a sad sap,’” Stack recalls. “‘I don’t want the other woman to just be a bitch.’ We talked about the stereotypes you see sometimes, the so-called ‘movie math’ of women.”
Stack found some interesting sources of inspiration: “I had been watching a lot of French comedies, in which everybody’s sleeping with somebody who’s not their spouse. In America, we have a more Puritanical view of adultery and it was interesting to see a variety of French comedies in which the characters were dealing with relationships as the complicated subjects that they are. It’s messy but real, and not just about the ‘bad guys’ and the ‘good guys.’”
Similarly, Yorn sees The Other Woman as a relationship story in which the most important connection turns out to be friendship, not romance: “The movie is about the love story between these women and about them taking back their power.”