ReelTalk Movie Reviews  

New Reviews
Jurassic World Domini...
Jazz Fest: A New Orle...
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue ...
more movies...
New Features
Poet Laureate of the Movies
Happy Birthday, Mel Brooks
Score Season #71
more features...
ReelTalk Home Page
Contact Us
Advertise on ReelTalk

Listen to Movie Addict Headquarters on internet talk radio Add to iTunes

Buy a copy of Confessions of a Movie Addict

Main Page Movies Features Log In/Manage

Rate This Movie
 Above AverageAbove AverageAbove AverageAbove Average
 Below AverageBelow Average
Rated 3.05 stars
by 332 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Fatal Obsession
by Joanne Ross

Recycling seems to be the name of the game in Hollywood. On the horror front, we were treated to remakes of The Last House on the Left, My Bloody Valentine, and Friday the 13th.  In the musical realm, Fame will soon be released. And in the drama/thriller department, we have a remake of Fatal Attraction, the new film Obsessed, directed by Steven Shill and starring Idris Elba, Beyoncé Knowles, and Ali Larter.

We know the story. Attractive married couple with beautiful baby boy is terrorized by equally attractive woman who has fixated her affections on the husband. It’s a triangle, but one for the new millennium as it includes a racial element -- an African American couple and a Caucasian wannabe “other woman” in serious need of psychiatric help.

Executive Derek Charles (Elba), happily married to wife Sharon (Knowles), has the misfortune to meet Lisa (Larter), a newly hired temp working as his assistant. Lisa flirts aggressively with Derek, and matters come to a head during the office Christmas party when she comes on to him. Amazingly, he isn’t tempted, nor does he succumb to her attentions. Lisa doesn’t handle rejection well.

We know where things are heading -- the eventual confrontation between the ladies in a scene that I’m sorry to say would be more at home in Street Fighter than in a supposedly realistic drama/thriller. Wearing four-inch designer pumps, Knowles kicks, stomps, and punches it out with the equally feral Larter. Stalkers are scary. But Knowles’ character doesn’t appear to feel fear -- only boiling rage. I imagine there are some women who might feel exactly the same way in these circumstances. However, this approach as written by screenwriter David Loughery and played by Knowles -- who strikes just that one note -- undermines the genuine terror a person would feel in the presence of a deranged stalker. It’s a fun, knockdown-drag-out match, but it evoked laughter, shouts, and cheers in the audience at the screening I attended instead of fear.

In terms of narrative and dramatic standpoints, the film suffers from the fact that nothing actually happens between Derek and Lisa. Her behavior lacks motivation. Lisa isn’t a disturbed jilted lover or one-night stand gone wrong. She’s merely crazy, and that isn’t nearly as compelling a reason as an actual soured sexual encounter with Derek would have been. We could relate to the latter, for then Lisa’s actions would seem plausible.

Despite the film’s weaknesses, the acting appears strong for the characters depicted here. Elba is a capable actor with presence, though he plays the one dimensional role of a husband just a little too good to be true -- a “strong man” who doesn’t stray from the path of faithfulness even in the face of irresistible temptation. Although over-the-top in some scenes, the drop-dead gorgeous Larter plays Lisa with zeal, and she’s able to bring different shadings to her characterization.

And speaking of drop-dead gorgeous, we can’t forget Knowles as Sharon, who continues to impress me with her acting chops. As if channeling her alter ego Sasha Fierce, Knowles exudes power, especially in her scenes with Elba when she learns of Derek’s alleged affair with psycho-temptress Lisa. Knowles deserves better films to showcase her talents, like Dreamgirls and Cadillac Records.

Unfortunately, Obsessed comes across as a superficial and slick update of its far superior predecessor. It makes no social-sexual observations, nor does it caution potential strayers -- both men and women viewers -- of the dangers involved when engaging in casual sexual encounters. Unlike Fatal Attraction, Obsessed fails to offer more than a story; it isn’t bigger than itself. But it does have that great girl-on-girl booty-kicking fight scene added for entertainment value.

(Released by Screen Gems and rated “PG-13” for sexual material including some suggestive dialogue, some violence and thematic content.)

Review also posted at

© 2024 - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Website designed by Dot Pitch Studios, LLC