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Monday, May 4, 2009


Rated: PG-13 for sexual material including some suggestive dialogue, some violence and thematic content
Genre: Dramas
Theatrical Release:Apr 24, 2009 Wide
Box Office: $28,612,730
Review :
"Obsessed," directed by Steve Shill, isn't very good. In fact, it's awful.

Of course, that probably wasn't the intention of everyone involved in making it, including Beyonce Knowles, who stars in the flick along with Idris Elba and Ali Larter and is listed in the credits as one of the flick's many producers (I think I saw Magic Johnson's name listed as a producer in the opening credits, too).
Everyone involved most likely thought they were making a classy, modern thriller in the vein of "Fatal Attraction." What they ended up with, however, is a gigantic mess.For the first forty or so minutes, the flick isn't that bad. It actually hovers around being decent. Elba plays Derek, a successful assets manager (he's the vice president of something or another at the company he works at, a company run by D-Day hisself, the great Bruce McGill) and a devoted family man (his wife, Sharon, is played by Beyonce) who ends up the target of the hot but psychotic stalker Lisa (Larter). The movie shows its hand almost immediately, letting us know that Lisa is up to no good when she meets Derek in an elevator and introduces herself as a temp. The music is somewhat ominous, and the way the camera focuses on her looking at him, you just know something bad is going to eventually happen. She flirts with Derek, but Derek doesn't really return the favor (he checks out her legs a few times, but beyond that he doesn't engage her. He is very nice to her, though). So some stuff happens, Lisa keeps running into Derek at weird times (she was originally supposed to temp for a day. She ends up temping for two weeks), you can tell more and more that she's really into him, but he doesn't return her the same kind of flirty attention. Again, he's just very, very nice to her. At the big, hedonistic business Christmas party (a party that doesn't allow spouses), Lisa tries to come onto him several times (she dances with him, tries to kiss him under the mistletoe), then confronts him in the bathroom. She thinks he wants to have sex with her in the stall. She rubs up against him, tries to kiss him, but he tells her to just get away. He is just not interested in her. And now he's kind of weirded out by the whole thing. Derek now knows that there's something very, very wrong with this woman, but he's not sure what he should do about it. Should he go to human resources and tell them about Lisa's behavior? Should he tell his wife Sharon? See, Derek has a bit of history when it comes to messing around with women at work. That's where he met Sharon. If he tells human resources, will they believe him or will they just assume that it's Derek being Derek? And if he tells Sharon, what the heck will she do (she told him when they got married that he could no longer have female assistants/temps at work)?

As you'd expect, the situation escalates, as Lisa shows up in his car wearing only a trench coat and lingerie, she sends sexy e-mails to his home computer, she even shows up at a company retreat, poses as his wife, drugs him and has black out sex with him, then drugs herself in his bed in an attempted suicide. This is Derek's lowest point, as the situation basically becomes public knowledge (McGill's Joe Gage finds out about it, Jerry O'Connell's Ben finds out more about it, and, worst of all, Sharon finds out about it) and no one believes that he didn't start having an affair with Lisa. Derek's life becomes total hell. Sharon throws him out of the house, he loses clients to other managers at the firm, and the police detective (Reese, as played by Christine Lahti) investigating Lisa and the attempted suicide doesn't believe him. And then, for reasons that make no sense until you remember that Beyonce's name appears as one of the flick's producers, the movie stops being about Derek and becomes all about Beyonce's Sharon forgiving Derek, freaking about how her family was hurt, and then saying that she planned on beating the crap out of Lisa if she ever confronted Derek again. If you've seen the trailer for the movie, you know what happens in that regard. And while the Beyonce-Ali Larter fight, on its own, as its own thing is kind of fun (it'll make for a nice movie fight clip on youtube some day), it's really just the ridiculous conclusion to a movie that has no business veering off into "Beyonce is a strong woman and ain't gonna take no shit from some blonde bitch in her underwear" world. What the hell does Beyonce's Sharon being a strong woman have to do with anything that happens in the first part of the movie?

"Obsessed" is not Beyonce's movie (well, it shouldn't be). If it wanted to be her movie it should have focused on her character from the beginning (we'd know more about her trying to earn a degree). It should have focused on how she's suspicious of her husband's potential flirting around at work with the pretty blonde chick. If that had happened, maybe the big blow up scene in the middle of the movie, Beyonce's "award moment" where she throws Derek out of the house, would have made sense and mattered more. By that point in the movie we would have likely had a better understanding of Derek's office romance history and why Sharon had any reason to be concerned. But we don't get any of that information in any kind of detail. We're just told about it in passing and we're supposed to just accept it and get behind Sharon because she's a woman done wrong. Derek lied to her. That bastard. And when he eventually "makes it up to her" and she lets him back in the house, I guess we're supposed to go "Yes! Yes! He now respects her!" or some hooey. But you'll most likely end up wondering why the movie needs a long "Derek tries to make up with his wife" montage as it really has nothing to do with anything. Again, we're never really given any real reason to lose respect for Derek and get behind Sharon. Why isn't the movie focusing on what the movie started focusing on in the first place, Lisa's obsession with Derek? Isn't this supposed to be Derek's movie to begin with? It just doesn't make any sense.

Elba is excellent as Derek. He embodies the sort of ultimate family man image without making it seem corny or lame. He also plays the alpha male business man with remarkable ease. He also has great chemistry with both Beyonce and Larter. His best scenes are actually with Larter, as he makes it clear again and again as the situation between the two of them escalates that he has absolutely no interest in her. Larter isn't bad as Lisa, even though she isn't given much of a character to play. She's just supposed to be evil and obsessed and that's it and she does a pretty okay job of it. She's sexy, she gives off that "deadly intelligence" vibe that you need for these kinds of obsessed psycho characters, and she can fight when she has to.

And then there's Beyonce as Sharon. She's pretty decent at the beginning of the movie. You don't really understand why she's so dang suspicious of her husband, but she's warm and she has good chemistry with Elba. She's also nice to look at (that's never a minus). However, when the movie veers off into "Beyonce is a strong woman!" Sharon is just annoying because, as I said above, the movie isn't about her, or at least it shouldn't be about her, it should be about Derek. Sharon shouldn't be proactive and an ass kicker. There's nothing wrong with her being a fighter and going toe to toe with Lisa in a fight (in theory) and even being a protective mother, but why does she need to say "bitch" so much? Where the hell does that stuff come from? It just doesn't make any sense.

Jerry O'Connell is funny as Ben, the male pseudo jock douchebag. Mathew Humphrey's is good as Patrick, the flaming homosexual assistant to Elba's Derek. I would have loved to see more stuff between Patrick and Lisa, as Lisa uses Patrick to get information about Derek's family and work life. They have good chemistry, too. McGill does his usual outstanding job as Joe Gage, the boorish, womanizing drunk business owner that says it's nice to have sexy women around the office (McGill is one of the best at being a sleazebag). Christine Lahti is okay as the detective Reese (she doesn't really do much beyond accuse Derek of lying about not having an affair with Lisa. You'll likely be surprised by how her character doesn't die at the end. I know I was surprised). And Scout Taylor-Compton, the new Laurie Strode in Rob Zombie's horrendous "Halloween" franchise, shows up in a bit part as a babysitter. Is it me or does she look like she's twelve here?

"Obsessed" should have been so much better. It set itself to be, at least, a decent enough little thriller. But it apparently wanted to be a mess, so that's what it does. It ends up a mess and an awful time at the movies. Avoid this movie as much as you can. But, if you're just compelled to see it (I have no idea why you would be compelled, but it could happen) just be aware that you will be disappointed by it. I can pretty much guarantee it.

Don't see "Obsessed."

So what do we have here? Gratuitous up beat R&B opening titles music, a Cadillac SUV, gratuitous Beyonce, Beyonce removing a "For Sale" sign from the front yard of her new house, burning up a "For Sale" sign in the fireplace, gratuitous Beyonce walking around her new empty house smiling and being sexy, an attic that looks like a basement, gratuitous ceiling mirror, attempted carpet sex, gratuitous hot blonde chick in the elevator, gratuitous flirting, hand touching, gratuitous Bruce "D-Day" McGill, gratuitous Jerry O'Connell, gratuitous internets research, dirty diaper changing, champagne drinking, gratuitous flaming male secretary, sexy female thighs, gratuitous Beyonce studying to get a degree and looking sexy in glasses, an awkward meeting, a mix CD, gratuitous office IM'ing, an old lady secretary with massive arm fat, tie picking, the world's greatest bar hamburger, gratuitous drunk and sexy company Christmas party, gratuitous attempted mistletoe kissing, attempted men's room stall sex, shiny rims, gratuitous Ali Larter showing up in a car wearing only a trench coat and sexy lingerie, a great family Christmas, sexy e-mails, a blue smiley face that winks, gratuitous Al Larter wearing a hot red dress, date rape, gratuitous iced tea drinking, attempted crazy bitch suicide, a big family blow up, gratuitous Derek trying to make it up to his wife montage, gratuitous Christine Lahti, gratuitous Beyonce wearing a hot black dress, gratuitous Scout Taylor-Compton, attempted kidnapping, a defiled family portrait, installing a home security system, lawn sprinklers, dress shirt fondling, gratuitous hot chick fight that's just ridiculous, lamp breaking, using a broken lamp as a spear, face kicking, stair rolling, two-by-four beatdown, ceiling hooey, massive glass coffee table breaking, chandelier breaking, and a freeze frame ending that's just bullshit.

Best lines: "You're a temp?," "Are you following me?," "You better watch out, girl. He's married," "Whose legs are those?," "What do you think about giving that magic mirror another test drive?," "I'm just waiting on you," "I think you'll find I'm not your typical temp," "It's nice to meet you, Sharon," "If you think you can pump me for information with a couple of cosmos, you're right," "Excuse me, can I have a dirty martini?," "Hey, office asshole. That's Mr. office asshole," "Lisa! Get out of my car now!," "Maybe you are an asshole," "Do you have a horseshoe up your ass? You're the luckiest guy I know," "Does that feel good?," "Bitch breathe!," "Wait, she was naked in your bed?," "This is bullshit," "Move your foot, Derek," "What am I supposed to do now? Buy a gun?,” “Just try me, bitch!,” “Did you not get my message?,” and “You are completely delusional.”

THE WIRE's Idris Elba stars in this thriller as a man who seems to have a perfect life. He is married to Sharon (Beyoncé Knowles), and he has just earned a promotion at work. But destruction looms... THE WIRE's Idris Elba stars in this thriller as a man who seems to have a perfect life. He is married to Sharon (Beyoncé Knowles), and he has just earned a promotion at work. But destruction looms when a pretty temp (HEROES' Ali Larter) grows a little too fond of him.

Starring: Idris Elba, Beyonce Knowles, Ali Larter, Bruce McGill, Jerry O'Connell, Christine Lahti
Director: Steve Shill
Screenwriter: David Loughery, Will Packer
Composer: Jim Dooley
Studio: Sony Pictures Entertainment



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