Directed by: Steve Shill
Premise: A successful executive (Idris Elba)
becomes the object of desire for a delusional young temp (Ali Larter). As her
obsession grows, she disrupts his family life and his career.
What Works: Early on in the picture, Obsessed does a nice job as the relationship between Elba and Larter’s characters
begins and the two walk the line between appropriate and inappropriate behavior.
Actress Ali Larter does a fine job with this early material, making her
character attractive but also vulnerable.
What Doesn’t: While it gets off to a good start, Obsessed quickly gets itself into trouble. There is a misogynistic streak to this film in
its portrayal of women and gender relations. Obsessed is a half-hearted
imitation of Fatal
Attractionbut where that film made its story about choices and their
consequences, Obsessed plays the man as an innocent victim and the women
as combative, predatory creatures. With the right cast and a cheeky attitude, Obsessed could have a guilty pleasure much like Wild
Things but this film takes itself far too seriously, apparently
believing it’s a serious drama when in fact it is a twisted version of a
misogynistic male fantasy; in Obsessed the man is a victim because of his
success, good looks, and charm and eventually his wife (Beyonce Knowles) and the
temp slug it out over him in a screaming, hair pulling fight that looks like
belongs in a Girls
Gone Wild video. As the wife, actress Beyonce Knowles is problematic.
For most of the film her character is left at home with her infant son doing
various domestic things but nothing important to the story or to her character.
But in the last third of the film Knowles' character is suddenly pushed to the
front while her husband stays in the background, where he doesn’t do much of
anything. This makes no narrative sense and can only be explained by a desire to
see superstar Knowles in a catfight with another attractive woman.
Bottom Line: Obsessed is an ugly little movie and were it not for the presence of Beyonce Knowles it is unlikely that it would have seen the light of day. As it is, it’s not even quality trash.
Episode: #238 (May 10, 2009)