Directed by Steve Shill.
Written by David Loughery.
Starring Idris Elba, Beyoncé Knowles, Ali Larter and Jerry
Release Year: 2009
Review Date: 5/4/09
Let's be honest--I saw the new thriller
"Obsessed" because a) I think Beyoncé Knowles is hot, and b) I love
Idris Elba, who played Stringer Bell in "The Wire." I only saw
one trailer and knew it could be dogshit (although not a guarantee);
the movie was not great, but for reasons that I didn't see coming.
I thought this would be about how a married
successful financial services executive named Derek (Elba) would be
tempted by...a hot temptress (Ali Larter), who just recently started
work as a temp at Derek's offices. I thought there would be an
element of yeah-he's-interested-but-he's-got-a-family mixed with
some nasty catfight action with Derek's wife (Knowles). In
theory, that IS what the movie is about...but, that is all that the
movie is about. Here's what I mean--we meet Derek and his wife
Sharon, they've just moved into a nice home outside of L.A., they
are clearly loaded, happy, new parents, the perfect couple.
That's scene one and two. In scene three we meet the temp;
she's clearly weird, obsessive, hot, and working right outside of
Derek's office. Scene four, Sharon meets the temp and clearly
doesn't like that she's hot...scene five, the temp starts her
aggressive pursuit of Derek.
And then, from there, it's all one-note
stuff--the temp goes crazy for Derek, Derek tries to ward off the
temp, Sharon spends most of her time angry but alternates between
Derek and the temp. Jerry O'Connell plays the throwaway role
of Derek's best friend, just to make sure someone other than the
three leads has a speaking part.
I'll admit that the film's last ten minutes
made me laugh and I wish I had seen it in a crowded theater.
The soundtrack was also good, and even though I'm straight, I could
watch Elba walk around in a shirt and tie all day. Here's what
was weird--I really think this is the first time I thought Beyoncé
was NOT hot; in fact (don't tell her I said this), I thought she
looked a little chunky, a little Janet Jackson right now. I
thought that the Larter character would have been more interesting
if she had not been totally insane and delusion; she's like a
cartoon character the way she goes all psycho in "Obsessed", where I
thought that a needy white girl would have done the trick just fine.
The reactions of everyone here just feel like the hopped-up,
all-anger sequences in movies like
"Revolutionary Road", where every moment is this heightened
emotional number...by the time Sharon wants Derek to move out at the
first hint that he may or may not have cheated on her with the temp,
I had my arms in the air in mock surprise.
Again, I thought this wouldn't be great, but
I still ran out to see it...sigh. I need to be smarter this
summer movie season to stick to the basics--action, comedy, horror.
I won't even watch this when it starts airing ad nauseam on TNT in
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard