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When a 'Single White Female' places an ad in the press for a similar woman to rent a room (to replace the boyfriend she's just left), all the applicants seem weird. Then along comes a level headed woman who seems to be just right. The new lodger has a secret past which haunts her. Written by
After Hedra kills Graham (or rather, thinks she has killed him), she comes back to Allison's apartment, and takes a shower. After the shower, she wraps herself into a large bath towel and goes into her bedroom, where Allison follows her. But, suddenly, about one second after she has entered her room, we discover Hedra wearing a night shirt and a sweater. Apparently Hedra is a better quick-change artist than the world-famous Arturo Brachetti. See more »
You know, identical twins are never really identical. There's always one whose prettier... and the one whose not, does all the work... She used me, then she left me - just like you.
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The promise is let down by a muddle of drama and action
After her partner moves out Allie Jones (Fonda) invites Hedra Carlson (Leigh) to move in, only Hedra has a few dark secrets and soon causes problems for her roommate.
The 1990's was a big step towards engaging actresses into more notable lead roles. Kathy Bates in Misery, Susan Sarandon and Gena Davis in Thelma and Louise and Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs turned many memorable Oscar winners and nominees in some fantastic pictures and the playing field seemed to generate more female stars who are still remembered today. So a year after Ridley Scott's dramatic Thelma and Louise picture in 1991 could Fonda and Leigh generate the same level of press attention and accolade? The premise was definitely there. The claustrophobic feel of the plot with a stalker of a room mate and obsession reflects the nature of Kathy Bates' character in Misery and the whole love and cheating concepts could easily merit those reflected in Scott's picture but this never materialized. We are left with some, what can only be described as dull and boring soap styled concepts. The whole 'my partner has left me and now I'm depressed' is as flat as a pancake and Leigh's inclusion, whilst initially spicing things up became equally dull.
What follows is a collection of mad antics by Leigh's awkward character and Fonda's struggling Allie. The pairing isn't too bad. There are some spicy moments that generate good drama and tension between the pair. The whole dog thing is a good reflection, as is the already mentioned stunning climax.
The direction by Schroeder is frequently muddled. From high shots to low shots and the inclusion of the odd tracking shots there is never a settling momentum to carry the picture through its dramatic stages. The final half an hour is well handled as the script notches up a gear into flowing momentum with a good final ending.
If you feel inclined to turn off after ten minutes then you can be forgiven as there is little to match your enthusiasm for this picture.
But if you get up to the inclusion of the dog then you may as well carry on as the final stages generate some stunning tension.
Single White Female is what you may call a wonderful promise that was horribly muddled. It's described as a dramatic thriller and the whole 'drama' part is evident throughout being soapier than a Dove product, but the thriller tag never is evident still the stunning climax that is great, but simply not justification of what we saw, and we are simply rolling our heads and imagining what could have been.
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