Obsessed (12A)



Thriller (2009)
108mins US

Starring: Idris Elba, Beyonce Knowles, Ali Larter, Jerry O'Connell, Bonnie Perlman, Christine Lahti
Director: Steve Shill
Writer(s): David Loughery
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Derek Charles is a high flying investment banker with a beautiful wife, Sharon, a young son and an impressive new house. Crucially, he has just landed a large, multi-million dollar account and is the golden boy at the company with the next rung on the corporate ladder firmly within his grasp. Trouble comes a knocking in the sultry form of temp Lisa, who sets her sights on the married man and refuses to take no for an answer. Stupidly, he refuses to tell Sharon about his hellish ordeal at work so when Lisa bluffs her way into his hotel by pretending to be his wife, Derek has a lot of explaining to do to the woman he loves. His marriage falters as a consequence. Meanwhile, Lisa escalates her pursuit of Derek, resorting to every trick in her extensive book to persuade him to give in to temptation.

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LondonNet Film Review
Obsessed

Hell hath no fury like a mentally unstable, office temp scorned...

Idris Elba (left) and Ali Larter in Screen Gems' thriller OBSESSED. Sony Pictures ReleasingMore than 20 years after Glenn Close boiled Michael Douglas' bunny, another sexually aggressive, blonde vixen sinks her polished nails into a happily married man in Obsessed. Only here, with it being the morally upright 21st century, the husband rejects the amorous advances but suffers nonetheless. British television director Steven Shill, who jumpstarted his career on EastEnders, Casualty and The Bill, makes his feature film debut with a script by David Loughery that plunders merrily from Fatal Attraction and The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. Were it not for the casting of Beyonce Knowles (also credited as an executive producer) as the wife who decides to fight for her man, literally, rather than lose him, this schlock probably would have headed straight to DVD.

An opening montage of Derek Charles (Idris Elba), beautiful wife Sharon (Knowles) and young son Kyle moving into their new home handily signposts the entire finale with lingering shots of locations and dangerously placed furniture. Derek is a recently promoted, executive vice president at Gage Bendix, who is poised to land the biggest account in the company's history. Everyone loves him including his boss Joe Gage (Bruce McGill), skirt-chasing colleague Ben (Jerry O'Connell) and stereotypically gay personal assistant Patrick (Matthew Humphreys), who will disclose all of the office gossip over a couple of Cosmopolitans after work. Trouble comes a-slinking into the building in the form of secretary Lisa (Ali Larter), who wears a killer pair of black and red heels, just like a certain carnivorous spider. "She's a new temp," Derek tells his friend. "I think you mean temp-tress!" swoons Ben. Lisa quickly sets her sights on Derek and refuses to take no for an answer, taking her pursuit of her boss to dangerous extremes.

(l to r) Idris Elba, Ali Larter and Beyonce Knowles in Screen Gems' thriller OBSESSED. Sony Pictures ReleasingObsessed is a generic thriller, enlivened by a hysterical final act, which sees Knowles' full-time mother metamorphose into a snarling lioness, hungry for a showdown. "You better do something about this woman... or I will!" she snarls to Detective Reyes (Christine Lahti), the token cop assigned to protective the couple, who is just as clueless as the rest of the two-dimensional characters, allowing Lisa to wreak havoc. When Larter isn't rubbing herself up against her male co-star or parading around in the office car park in her skimpy underwear, she doesn't wildly overplay her home wrecker's psychosis, leaving the loud theatrics to Knowles. A largely ineffectual Elba, whose character is apparently a titan of industry, shows surprisingly little common sense under pressure and leaves the women to sort it out amongst themselves in the most dignified way possible: a protracted cat fight complete with hair-pulling, kicks to the face and Beyonce promising, "I'm gonna wipe the floor with you... who's screaming now?" Us, with laughter.

- Jo Planter


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