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A rich man's wife finds she has a bad prenuptial agreement with an even worse husband. Over drinks with a stranger, she fantasizes about doing her husband in to void the prenupt. The stranger decides to turn her imagination into reality much to the wife's surprise. Written by
Greg Mintz <GM.Augusta@worldnet.att.net>
Spoiler: According to Cinematographer Haskell Wexler, after the test screening the ending was changed as "the bad guy at the end didn't die badly enough. As it was, Halle Berry shot the guy, bang, he died. When we redid the scene, she shot him, kicked him in the nuts, struck him with a hatchet so he fell back, shattering a car windscreen before hitting the ground, where we stabbed him with a high heel..." See more »
In the garage scene, Josie shoots Cole several times. In one shot, the pistol slide locks back, indicating an empty magazine. In the next shot, she shoots him again while he is on the ground. See more »
Detective Dan Fredricks:
[removing woman's handcuffs]
Have a seat. Now I want you to listen very carefully, Mrs. Potenza, alright? You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney, and to have the attorney present during questioning. If you so desire, and cannot afford one, an attorney will be provided for you without charge.
See more »
Josie and Tony Potenza are your typical (Hollywood) upper-crust couple. The middle-aged Tony (Christopher McDonald) is somewhat of an apathetic husband and an alcoholic, but is an otherwise loving husband with a thriving career as a film executive. Josie, the wife about half his age, feels neglected by him, but hides her concerns because she still loves her husband (and the money, let's not kid ourselves). Their flawed, but satisfactory life goes awry one night when Josie admits her marital problems to a Cole (Peter Greene), a total stranger who she becomes acquainted with after her car breaks down and he helps her out. Unfortunately for Tony, she also admits to Cole she sometimes wishes Tony was dead. Despite taking the comment back, Cole appears to take Josie's words seriously, and the problems ensue.
The cast, especially the supporting actors, bring a rather pedestrian script to life. Halle Berry is not only beautiful, but a competent actress in any role (aside from Catwoman), and in the context of the first 93 of the films 94 minute runtime, she does extraordinary as a woman lost in a situation which is totally out of her control. Christopher McDonald is great as usual, and fits the role of a wealthy, apathetic husband well. Peter Greene and Clive Owen (Josie's boyfriend) both work with what they have, and Clea Lewis (who I never heard of before this film) brings some mild humor.
The plot itself is nothing particularly new or original, but it grabs your attention slowly and when it has you hooked, it doesn't let go. While most of the material is recycled from previous (and better) films, it's presented in a manner that's still refreshing, and the characters hold it together.
Of the crew, the cinematographer, Haskell Wexler, displays his talents the best. There are many great sweeping shots of the mountains and forests, and the film as a whole has a glossy, well-composed look to it.
And there you have it: the good. The film's first 93 minutes is time well spent. The plot is interesting, the acting is above average, and film is well-shot.
Unfortunately, the last 60 seconds, yes, sixty seconds, is the film's undoing. I won't spoil the "surprise," but it is a twist ending that will cause you to scratch your head for a few minutes, and then make you wish you hadn't wasted your time. It seems like no thought went into the twist ending, and it was just tacked on because it was a popular thing to do. And with the twist at the end, gaping plot holes are left in the film. Horrible to end to an otherwise good movie. So, please take my advice. It's not such a bad movie, but skip the last 60 seconds or you'll feel cheated out of your time and intelligence.
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