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Single White Female
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Reviews & Ratings for
Single White Female More at IMDbPro »

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34 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Better than todays thrillers.

8/10
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.

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71 out of 130 people found the following review useful:

ALMOST, NOT QUITE

2/10
Author: marcosaguado from Los Angeles, USA
12 March 2004

I love Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh, but, what are they doing here? A shameless rip off of a much better movie "Apartment Zero" with Colin Firth and Hart Bochner. As the journey had already been taken, the trip becomes an irritating one. I didn't care about it for a minute. The two actresses are always worth watching, they have the power to attract their audience whatever they're doing. That's partly why, I was so put off by the nonsense they were involved with in Single White Female.

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51 out of 91 people found the following review useful:

Awful!

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.

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30 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

A pretty decent psychological thriller

7/10
Author: smatysia (feldene@comcast.net) 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-

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48 out of 89 people found the following review useful:

Apartment Less Than Zero

2/10
Author: bethlambert117 from United States
7 October 2005

I finally seen this with my own eyes. What a missed opportunity. If their intention was to remake "Apartment Zero" with two females in the lead, they failed miserably. They missed the point of the original,totally. Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh are very good but the movie isn't. I lost patience with the convoluted phony attempt to capture my attention within the first 15 minutes of the film.. I'd seen it all before. I felt treated like an idiot. There is no psychological road to follow because the characters are replicates from better movies, they don't have a life of their own and as a consequence, I didn't care. By the way, where are Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh? I haven't seen them in a long time and I think they are wonderful - in other movies that is.

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13 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Who needs references these days anyway?

7/10
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

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4 out of 4 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.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

SWF = Stinking Worthless Film

2/10
Author: rogue90
10 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film was such a wasted few hours of my life. The plot was absolutely terrible. An obsessive lesbian-esquire stalker girl who destroys her flatmates life? To begin with, the whole my fiancé cheated with his ex-wife beginning was terrible. You pray and pray for her to just dump him, because honestly, why would you take such scum back? and then she does? Well, I honestly had no sympathy for her after that. The back story for Leighs character was weak, and why she would choose weak and pathetic Fonda's character to obsess over, I really don't know. I cheered when Fonda's fiancé was killed, and ended up hating both Leigh and Fonda's pitiful characters. The film was far too focused on sex, and it was far too male orientated erotica. To sum up, the film was poorly executed, think made for TV movie.

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13 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Close. Real Close.

6/10
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.

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14 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Definitely beyond average thrillers, but cliche ending

7/10
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!).

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