5.2/10
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36 user 14 critic

Perfect Strangers (2003)

A woman goes home with the best-looking stranger, only to discover she's been kidnapped.

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3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Melanie
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Aileen
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Andrea
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Pete
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Bill
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Jim
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The Man
George Cassells ...
Takeaway Patron
Louis Cassells ...
Takeaway Patron
...
Takeaway Patron
Nic Gorman ...
Takeaway Patron
Lorraine Ryder ...
Publican
Ian Ryder ...
Publican
Richard Bullock ...
Bushman
Paul O'Shea ...
Bushman
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Storyline

Melanie is out with the girls in a country town on New Zealand's wild but beautiful West Coast when she meets the perfect stranger. The inevitable question 'your place or mine?' arises and Melanie chooses his, not knowing it is a fishing boat. In the morning they are at sea destined for the stranger's home on a remote and inaccessible island. Despite the man's charm, Melanie comes to the realisation she has been kidnapped but, gradually, is captivated by strangely symbiotic nature of their relationship Written by johnno.r@xtra.co.nz

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence, sexual content and brief language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

26 February 2004 (New Zealand)  »

Also Known As:

Az idegen  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

As Melanie opens the freezer (at the 41-minute mark), a camera operator's shadow can be seen at the bottom right corner. See more »

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User Reviews

Perfectly literate and thought-provoking
20 July 2004 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

I borrowed this film on video knowing only that it might be good because of Sam Neill. The other actors were not well known, at least,to me. I liked this film very much because I watched the film unfold not knowing what's going to happen next. There were no obvious 'surprises,' which is why I think this film is clever. Rachael Blake was fantastic in this film. It is really her story. The film had the elements of a fine Hitchcock movie –- surprises are really unpredictable, not 'put-on unpredictable' as some films of the same genre tend to be. One might think because the jacket write-up talked about a woman going out with a stranger purposely knowing it to be a one-night stand that the film would be full of steamy sex scenes. Wrong. The one love scene with the 'ghost' Sam Neill actually was tender. This is the essence of the story – the strangeness of relationships. I don't understand why other reviewers 'didn't get it'. This is not a literal film that expects the audience to think that the story is based on reality. It is not. But it touches on human nature. Before some of you misunderstand me, I said 'literal' not 'literate,' which is an entirely different word. The film is very well edited, not slow, as far as I am concerned. 'Lost in Translation' and 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' are painfully slow films and it's only hype that made them known to the public. 'Cold Mountain' was unbearably slow. I didn't get to Renee Zelwegger's part – I gave up not even half-way through the film. 'Perfect Strangers' intrigued me and it deserves to be seen. It is not about looniness. It is about the narrowness of the line between sanity and insanity. Acting, editing, direction and photography were top-notch. Go see it. It will make you think. Some may think the ending is macabre, but if you view this film as an allegory, you will better appreciate the story. Just be sure you understand that the 2 main characters never really had a sexual relationship. It is all in the mind. C'mon, people, be literate, not literal and you'll enjoy this movie. The irony of this movie is that the 'villain' Sam Neill turns out to be of tender heart and the 'tough' Rachael Blake really a vulnerable woman.


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