Obsessed (2009)

(In theaters, April 2009) Every generation needs its Fatal Attraction remake, so it’s not a stretch to suppose that the current twenty-something audience deserves nothing more than a limp reiteration of the same dramatic situation, except with bad storytelling instincts. The lead male character is dull by design: Despite an intriguing back-story of womanizing, he spends the picture being holier-than-thou, and escapes jeopardy mostly by the intervention of others. But that bad storytelling aspect takes a back-seat to the complete shift in protagonist that occurs during the last ten minutes, as the putative “hero” is sidelined to an SUV commute while another character resolves the main conflict of the picture. It’s dumb, deeply unsatisfying, and telling of the relative star-power of Idris Elba versus Beyoncé Knowles. It’s a very pretty movie with attractive characters, but the script is all wrong, and barely interested in its most interesting aspects. Even Ali Larter, as the designated psycho, gets little to play with as none of her character’s motivations are explored. Obsessed shows how unsatisfying a bad script can be even when most other aspects are handled professionally: there’s nothing left of the “psycho stalker” suspense except the memory of other, better films.

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