ABC has made a killing from the bored housewife situation. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that films would attempt to put those kinds of situations into their plots. The film is billed as an erotic thriller; however it’s really two separate films. The first half works the erotic side of things. There’s plenty of nudity and sexual situations, starting with three chicks all over each other for a photo shoot. Here we meet Claire Dennison (Ford). She’s a successful businesswoman, perhaps selling porn to the Japanese. She’s married to Jonathan (MacFadyen), a psychiatrist that she appears to love. The problem is she wants to have a baby and she’s bored with their sex life. She attempts to spice things up through role playing but gets little response from her work-obsessed husband. One night while out of town in a hotel she spots her husband in a bar playing the part of “Roberto” a role she earlier encouraged him to take on. She plays along, and things get pretty hot and steamy for the couple. The rendezvous is repeated on another trip, and she seems ecstatic with the newfound passion her husband has discovered. That is until one morning she gets a call from her husband while he’s still in her bed. It turns out she’s been having an affair with his perfect double. When she discovers her huge mistake, she hustles poor “Roberto” out of bed and out of the door. Unfortunately for her “Roberto”, really Simon, isn’t planning on going away that easily.
At this point the film sheds its erotic mantle and becomes a thriller, at least that was the plan. Fatal Attraction this is not, although it so badly wants to be. Simon forces his way into Claire’s life. The problem is he’s such a laughable character. The blame can be shared equally with script and actor. He never feels like a threat no matter how many horrible things he does. The way he talks and carries himself is never to be taken seriously. Because of this major flaw, the thrill is gone before it even started. There’s never any sense of suspense, because the film never tries to hide who is who. You never get the opportunity to play along and try to figure anything out. Even when Claire’s sleeping with “Roberto” the film never tries to fool you into the same mistaken identity. You know all along she’s not with Jonathan.
Willa Ford is actually an underrated performer. Hailing from the
Impulse is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The print is actually pretty good. There is an above average sharpness and color definition most of the time. The fatal flaw happens to be below average black levels that offer little low light definition. Flesh tones are perfect reference throughout. There wasn’t much of a compression problem, and the transfer is quite clean. At almost exactly one hour into the film, there is some choppy editing. Perhaps this was intentional for some artistic purpose, but consider that it only happens here and appears to serve no accenting purpose; it looks like a bad edit.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is pretty basic. There isn’t much use of ambient sounds at all. The musical tracks come off like something out of a cheap porno film and offer little value to the film. There are occasional moments when the sub reminds you that it’s turned on. Dialog is usually sharp and up front.
To be honest, there really isn’t any reason to get this film. Whatever you think you might find here, you won’t. If you’re looking for some graphic slap and tickle, you won’t get enough here to keep your interest, and once the film turns the halfway mark you’re all done. If you’re hoping for some suspenseful moments, you’re equally out of luck. The film never attempts to fool you, so you will not have any mental exercise figuring anything out. If you want both, boy, have you come to the wrong film. The only guessing you will be doing is trying to figure out what they were thinking here. But, “enough with the theories”.