Rowena Price is a muckraking reporter for a New York paper. When her story about a closeted gay Senator who preaches family values is spiked, she quits and soon finds herself investigating the grisly murder of a childhood friend. Her friend had been dumped by ad exec Harrison Hill, so he's Rowena's prime suspect. Rowena gets a job at the ad agency as a temp, and she's soon the object of Hill's attentions. She's helped in her subterfuge by Miles Haley, a friend at the paper who has a secret thing for her. Everyone, it seems, has secrets, including Hill, who must keep his affairs from his wife - her money fuels his lifestyle. Murder will out? Written by
Miles' phone number (seen when Hill reads the text message on Ro's mobile phone in the restaurant) is shown as 917-867-5309--a nod to Tommy Heath's classic rock hit "867-5309/Jenny", which repeats the phone number (sans area code) in the refrain. See more »
Where Ro is eating her Ben and Jerry's ice cream, the container is turned in several different motions and the amount at the top is different each time although her hands stay the same See more »
Before seeing "Perfect Stranger", I was hoping for another hidden gem like "Twisted" (2004), which was also a murder mystery with a female lead and other big names in the cast and also got bad reviews; sadly, this film isn't it.
The film starts off poorly - it's a whodunit, but the victim is a character who appears in just one scene before getting bumped off, so we don't have enough time to like or even hate (as it usually happens in, say, the Agatha Christie mysteries) her; so it's harder to find a reason to care who killed her. The film improves somewhat in the middle, with a couple of tense scenes (like the one in the car with Willis suspecting Berry of being a spy, or Berry's entrance into Ribisi's "secret room"), and a few interesting (if brief) views of the net-chatting world. But then the ending comes, and it's a cheat - the perfect planning required for it is simply too far-fetched (IMDB trivia says they filmed three alternative endings with three alternative killers: the one chosen in the final cut was probably the worst).
Halle Berry is GORGEOUS in this movie - I personally think this woman is getting more beautiful every year - but her acting is a bit forced, especially at her "big" moments. Bruce Willis has a couple of good scenes, but the rest of the time he pretty much sleepwalks through his role. Another problem is that both their characters are not very interesting, and yet another one is that there is no erotic heat between them, because Bruce is too old for Halle - although their age difference is only 11 years, he would even be more acceptable as her father than as her lover! In a supporting role, Giovani Ribisi is marginally more interesting than the two leads.
All in all, this movie is between a 4 and a 5 out of 10, mostly rental material.
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