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Sophie Hartley is convinced that she is being stalked. She becomes increasingly certain that her husband's beautiful co-worker, Mara, wants her children, her husband and her life. But no one believes Sophie. Forced to prove her sanity, Sophie grows increasingly paranoid - but is she imagining things? Sophie becomes completely caught up in her obsession, turning stalker herself - and makes a discovery more frightening than her worst fear. Written by
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IRRESISTIBLE is a little film from Australia with big ideas and a clumsy script. The story itself is good with enough variation from the usual thriller scripts to make it enjoyable, but the writing borders on improvisation and doesn't provide the motivation for the development of the story to flow smoothly enough to maintain the credibility of the characters.
Set in contemporary Melbourne, Australia, the story begins in media res with our heroine Sophie (Susan Sarandon), a successful illustrator, wife of an equally important architect (Sam Neill), and mother to two little girls, hearing noises and finding odd incidents. Recovering from the death of her beloved mother and caring for her grieving father (Charles 'Bud' Tingwell), Sophie's stress factor is further heightened by the fact that she has a block about the illustrations for a book whose deadline is nearing. Her husband is supportive and encourages her to get away from her problems by attending a party given by a new associate of his at the firm - the bright and beautiful Mara (Emily Blunt) - who just happens to be wearing the same new dress Sophie has purchased for the party. The two meet, dance together, drink together, but innuendos have started: party guests offer condolences for her mothers death but also suggest she join AA for her 'drinking problem'.
Sophie's mind continues to fragment as she imagines she is being stalked by Mara because of events that happen in her house, with her wardrobe, and with paranoia that her husband and Mara are having an affair. She decides to observe Mara closely, discovering facts that feed her paranoia, and is caught in Mara's house - and arrested. From there the story disintegrates into revelation of facts that border on melodrama with ill-defined motivations marring every scene. To reveal the ultimate nidus for the story's plot would rob the viewer of what little surprises there are here.
Ann Turner could have used a script doctor before shooting this film, as the story is fine: it is just clumsy and not finessed. But once again Susan Sarandon proves she is such a fine actress that she can pull off even a spotty script and create a credible character. Sam Neill and Emily Blunt likewise do the best with what they are given with lines and direction. This is not a bad movie at all, just one that needed a bit of surgery before placing it on the screen, and the film is well worth watching for Sarandon fans. She still is one of our finest actresses on the screen today. Grady Harp
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