IMDb > Single White Female (1992) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
Single White Female
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
Single White Female More at IMDbPro »

Write review
Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 1 of 9:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [Next]
Index 88 reviews in total 

32 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Better than todays thrillers.

Author: Matt from Chicago
18 December 2006

I saw this movie in theater in 1992 and remember it being very entertaining and somewhat racy. Fourteen years later the film holds up well to the test of time. A major difference is in the level of nudity between this film and the thrillers of today. Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh are hot! lets see them naked and often. Barbet schroeder understands this, and we see them both naked from the onset of the film. The story and acting develop well, the dialog is well written and the camera work is adequate.

Jennifer Jason Leigh steals the show in this film, she does a superb job handling the transition in the character of Heddy with her body language and shyness into the transition of a sexually charged woman, who is assertive and obviously losing her grip on reality. She takes more risks and becomes bold and violent. Overall much better and more entertaining than any of the crap you will find being made today in Hollywood. Don't expect Shakespeare and just enjoy the ride.

Was the above review useful to you?

29 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

A pretty decent psychological thriller

Author: smatysia ( from Houston
15 April 2002

A fairly engaging psychological thriller. Of course, there must be some suspension of disbelief, as in Hedy(Jennifer Jason Leigh) wielding a shoe. Also, there really are no truly sympathetic characters here. Hedy, of course, is what she is. And, Allie(Bridget Fonda), the supposed heroine, does kind of screw over Hedy. And Sam (Steven Webber) is basically a snake anyway. As for the actors, I thought Miss Leigh was by far the best, though she had the meatiest part, so it may be hard to compare. And what an amazing apartment for a young software designer in Manhattan. OK, they mentioned it was rent-controlled. What an insane economic policy. Grade: B-

Was the above review useful to you?

11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Who needs references these days anyway?

Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
26 August 2011

Single White Female is directed by Barbet Schroeder and adapted to screenplay by Don Roos from the novel "SWF Seeks Same" written by John Lutz. It stars Bridget Fonda, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Steven Weber, Peter Friedman and Stephen Tobolowsky. Music is by Howard Shore and cinematography by Luciano Tovoli.

When it's revealed that her partner Sam (Weber) has been cheating on her with his ex-wife, Allie Jones (Fonda) kicks him out of the apartment and advertises for a female roommate. She chooses Hedra Carlson (Leigh), who on the surface seems to be the perfect roommate. Smoothly helping Allie through her crisis, a real friendship is formed, but it's not long before Hedra starts to exhibit some dark behaviour patterns…..

The early 90s saw the "Woman from Hell" back in vogue in mainstream cinema. After the success and publicity of Fatal Attraction (1987), there was a period where you feel that sensible film makers wisely chose to let that particular film disappear from the film lovers memory banks. As it happens, they must have collectively chose 5 years as the cooling off period. For 1992 saw a wave of mad female on the loose pictures released. Led by the publicity gobbling Basic Instinct, films such as The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and Single White Female put bums on cinema seats and reopened the "Mad Bitch" sub-genre. Of the three, Single White Female grossed the least, which is strange since it's a better movie than the other two.

Schroeder's (Barfly/Reversal of Fortune) movie isn't a complete success, there's not enough development of the main characters and there's some unintentionally funny moments. But when it's good it's real good. Reeling off a number of memorable and often chilling scenes, film is further boosted by the psychological smarts in Roos' (Boys on the Side) screenplay. It helps that Schroeder has a knack for pacing, too, where he neatly simmers the plot until the spill over for the big finale. No disappointment there either, a good combination of genre staples is enhanced in impact by some unexpected character developments, and there's moments of genuine suspense to lure the viewer to the edge of their seat.

It's also stylishly shot by Schroeder and Tovoli (Suspiria/Tenebrae). Allie's Upper West Side apartment is imposing and expansive, with high ceilings, old time plumbing, a clunky lift and a dingy laundry in the basement. It's a different set-up for such a thriller, no picket fence harmony house or beach side residence, this is bustling New York, big spaces, but as it turns out, that means no hiding place. The boys behind the cameras get the maximum they can from the locale by blending imposing and ominous with grainy veneer and filtered light. On the acting front, the girls put great effort into making their thinly developed characters work, with Leigh doing a good line in progressive instability. While Friedman, Weber and a wonderfully naughty Tobolowsky, make the most of their secondary roles.

One or two obvious flaws aside, this still rounds out as a thoroughly enjoyable thriller. 7.5/10

Was the above review useful to you?

14 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Definitely beyond average thrillers, but cliche ending

Author: Angeneer from Athens, Greece
10 September 1999

Another movie with great potential. The film unfolds almost perfectly and you find yourself in a tense and deep psychological thriller (no spoilers to the plot). But then, the director chooses the easy way and we have a usual ending with mostly unrealistic situations and splatter sequences (ouch this dragging scene with the head bump at the elevator step must have hurt!).

Was the above review useful to you?

47 out of 86 people found the following review useful:


Author: dewy_jxl from London, England
16 June 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have never seen such trite in my life! The film, has no solid storyline and is amazingly awful. Bridget Fonda is gorgeous but i think this film totally undermined her, her acting performances were not projected as like a true actors would and god! It is just RUBBISH! The way the brunette woman killed Bridget Fonda's fiancée, by accidentally throwing the heel of a silver stiletto shoe in his eye, just cracked me up. This film cannot be of the thriller genre more of the comedy genre. The emotions that were meant to have been portrayed were not such as when Fonda found out her fiancée had died, what did she do? Just whimper! Show some emotion, please! The ending, oh my god! What an awful ending, the ending could have either been explained in a lot more detail or just shot differently, it would have made all the more difference, trust me. If they could just go back to the storyboards and elaborate on the shot angles, this film would be a little better.

Was the above review useful to you?

11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Close. Real Close.

Author: lost-in-limbo from the Mad Hatter's tea party.
23 December 2007

Formulaic, formulaic… yeah it's routine Hollywood psycho-thriller territory, but too visually well made by director Barbet Schroeder and comfortably performed in the shape of Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh to not get something out of it. The story (adapted off John Lutz's novel "SWF Seeks Same") plays its cards quite early, and goes about the subject in a too convenient manner to make it entirely effective. Quite a slow build-up and many sub-plots stem off the central plot, as we watch Leigh's character's twitchy transformation suddenly grow and form the basis of the early groundwork that would eventually unsettle Fonda's fragile character. A resourceful Schroeder sure does a brilliant job with many artistic flourishes, and inspired gimmick set-pieces where you just can't help but admire Luciano Tovoli's lyrically smooth cinematography. However trying to register the suspense, became hard due to leading us down the same old path of cheap clichéd jolts and shinny techniques. Although the potent climax goes over-board, it's particularly heart-pounding and downright exciting. There's nothing overtly tame about it, with its seamless nudity and tantalizing sex, and a wicked death here and there. But it's all tastefully done. Howard Shore's sumptuously airy musical score feeds off the well used location and compact sets (especially that of the stark Victorian apartment building) that are very ideal to the film's progression. In the two leads, a gorgeous Fonda is terrific and Leigh's needly attachable turn is one of confidence. The chemistry works, and when it comes to it they sure do look like each other. Talk about eerie. There's also solid support by Steven Weber, Peter Friedman and Stephen Tobolowsky.

Was the above review useful to you?

8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Jennifer Jason Leigh steals the show.

Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
25 February 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I first saw this in the cinema many years ago and enjoyed it enough to buy it when it came out on video. While I don't rate it as highly as when I first saw it I still think it is a good film, mainly due to the quality of the two lead actresses, especially Jennifer Jason Leigh who seems to be excellent in everything I've seen her in.

Bridget Fonda plays Allison Jones who learns that her fiancé has cheated on her with his ex-wife. She ends the relationship but doesn't want to live alone so puts an advert in the newspaper for a flatmate. Out of the applicants she chooses Hedra 'Hedy' Carlson a mousy girl played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, at first she seems like the ideal choice but things start to go wrong when it appears that Allie and her fiancé are getting back together. Hedy is determined to keep them apart, at the same time she starts to dress like Allie and even changes her hair style and colour to match. Things soon spiral out of control leading to a violent confrontation between Allie and Hedy. There is also a sub-plot about Allie's work involving a client who sexually harasses her then fails to pay for her services.

Even though I ticked the "Contains Spoilers" box I have tried to keep them to a minimum as a thriller won't be very thrilling if you know too much. As mentioned before, the acting is good and the plot is fairly plausible till the climax when it becomes a fairly standard confrontation between the two protagonists. There isn't too much violence and what there is isn't all that graphic, there is however a fair amount of sexual content and nudity which I suppose some viewers might feel uncomfortable with.

Was the above review useful to you?

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Unnerving, but never outstanding

Author: gcd70 from Melbourne, Australia
17 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Nothing new in this thriller which finds disturbed, possessive 'Hedra' (Jennifer Jason Leigh) moving in with career girl 'Alison' (Bridget Fonda), who has recently separated from her boyfriend.

Barbet Schroeder creates his own style in a film which (with two effective lead performances) manages to elicit tension, even if it is not full of surprises. The plot line is not unlike that of the recent "Poison Ivy", and the style is a little akin to "Basic Instinct". However, "Single White Female" is a definite improvement on both of these films, though it is not as good as some other thrillers of late. Unnerving, but never outstanding.

Saturday, October 10, 1992 - Knox District Centre

Was the above review useful to you?

16 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Not bad, for the early 90's...

Author: MarieGabrielle from United States
9 September 2006

if you compare what other fare was offered to the audience, in the way of suspense/psycho films. Also, Jennifer Jason Leigh is always interesting to watch, she adds depth to an otherwise one-dimensional character.

Bridget Fonda is also good, as Allison Jones, a NY designer on her way up, (there is an amusing scene with Stephen Tobolowsky as her sleazy client). It is a bit hard to believe the square footage of the NY apartment however, for two young single girls to be renting something that size. Also, some scenes reminded me of Roman Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby"; the laundry room, the storage area, etc.

Steven Weber is the faithless fiancé, with whom Fonda has a falling-out, and then Hedy (Jason Leigh) decides he is fair game. She has a psychological disorder, apparently lost her twin sister at a young age, and has never recovered.

The usual psychodrama ensues. Fonda's upstairs neighbor, Graham, attempts to help her, advises her to get Hedy to leave the apartment. One scene which is quite odd is where Allison follows Hedy to a bar, there is some inference to "S and M" type behavior, but this is not developed. Strange.

Worth watching for Jason Leigh's performance, or if you like Bridget Fonda. Not the best thriller- If you want something truly psychologically frightening rent Polanski's "Repulsion", starring Catherine Deneuve.

Was the above review useful to you?

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Fun Premise, Not a Fun Movie

Author: mercuryix from Los Angeles
5 September 2000

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Possible Spoilers:

The idea of a female at the terrorist psycho in a movie is fun, and certainly refreshing for fans of slasher films; however, living with the characters for two hours is like living with your least favorite room-mate for two months; Brigit Fonda plays a confused city girl who wants to make ends meet by illegally subletting her apartment; she even takes pictures of her candidates. Naturally, an endless line of women submit to this without question. Jennifer Leigh shows up as Fonda is in the middle of a boyfriend breakdown and Fonda decides she's her room-mate. The boyfriend is presented as clueless clod, Jennifer Leigh does a good job playing a depressed woman with a flat affect and a penchant for threats, Brigit is practically helpless, and everyone else in the movie, especially her boss, are jerks. There is really no-one to like in this movie. In addition, everyone's actions are off-putting and mean-spirited; Brigit's boss decides he doesn't want to pay her the over-time she's earned unless she puts out; Brigit has installed software on her computer to automatically wipe out her work if he doesn't. The boyfriend thinks at one-quarter speed and can't make up his mind, and Brigit can't walk away from him. The slasher scenes almost seem like a further irritation than a scare by the time they come. The movie really doesn't provide suspense and terror; instead it substitutes manipulation (and heavy-handed manipulation at that), meanness and ugliness. Why this received high ratings as a suspense movie is a mystery...but there are far better ones at Blockbuster. Three out of ten stars.

Was the above review useful to you?

Page 1 of 9:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [Next]

Add another review

Related Links

Plot summary Plot synopsis Ratings
Awards External reviews Parents Guide
Plot keywords Main details Your user reviews
Your vote history