Critic Reviews



Based on 22 critic reviews provided by
In Sleeping with the Enemy, a chilling look at marital abuse gives way to a streamlined thriller [from the novel by Nancy Price] delivering mucho sympathy for imperiled heroine Julia Roberts and screams aplenty as she's stalked by her maniacal husband.
Sleeping With The Enemy teeters constantly on the verge of silliness but director Joseph Ruben keeps the cornball melodrama scaled down to a pleasant lull.
As an actress, Roberts has more than a great smile. She’s alive on screen — you can practically feel her pulse. But someone should have realized that audiences would be on her side even if every single moment of a movie weren’t calculated to put them there.
Joseph Ruben, whose other films include The Stepfather and True Believer, has directed Sleeping With the Enemy with full appreciation of his leading lady's disarming beauty but less successful attention to the people and places that surround her.
This is in the 'never trust appearances' mould popularised by Fatal Attraction and Pacific Heights.
Ruben, at least, is adept with suspense tactics. He keeps Bergin lurking off screen for an agonizingly long time and he knows his suspenseful way around a bathtub. There's also some respectably scary business to do with neatly arranged bathroom towels and food cans in the pantry. But Ruben is merely modulating mediocre material.
The script itself—credited to Ronald Bass, and adapted from Nancy Price's novel—is a tissue of so many stupid and implausible contrivances that the only possible way of enjoying it is by taking your brain out to lunch.
Ultimately Sleeping With the Enemy wants to be about one woman's rebirth, but Roberts neither grows nor glows in this empty movie.
Because the opening scenes of Sleeping with the Enemy are so powerful, the rest of the movie is all the more disappointing. The film begins as an unyielding look at a battered wife, and ends as another one of those thrillers where the villain toys with his victim and the audience.
Dump thriller which trivialises the subject matter.

More Critic Reviews

See all external reviews for Sleeping with the Enemy (1991) »

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews