, Port Arthur, Texas


April 28, 2009

Hard to get interested, let alone ‘Obsessed’ with Beyonce’s new film



Sony Pictures

Directed by Steve Shill

Starring Beyonce Knowles, Idris Elba, Ali Larter and Jerry O’Connell

Rated PG-13


1 1/2 Stars        


Fans of Beyonce are going to be disappointed by her new domestic thriller, “Obsessed.” It’s not that she comes off poorly in the film, but rather that she doesn’t have enough screen time to justify the film’s Beyonce-centric marketing campaign.

Sorry Beyonce fans, but “Obsessed” is clearly an Ali Larter film.

Sorry Ali fans, but she’s not very good in this film.

A cinematic cousin to “Fatal Attraction,” this is the story of a hot-shot finance guy (Idris Elba) who seems to have it all: a newly acquired, multi-million account, a brand new house and Beyonce as his wife. The new office temp (Larter) notices all of this and decides that she wants a piece of her boss’ amazing life, so she sets out to seduce him — crazy stalker style.

As the commercials promise, it will all boil down to a pulpy catfight between Beyonce and Larter. The film’s opening weekend will be based entirely on how much people want to watch Beyonce wail on her supposed rival. Purists may scoff that “Obsessed” is just pandering to our basest instincts, but that’s what most domestic thrillers do. Why should we start pretending to be offended now?

But the film doesn’t pander enough to work. With a PG-13 rating and a husband who doesn’t cheat on his wife, “Obsessed” is little more than the story of a crazy woman who creates a lot of havoc. So what? Unlike Glenn Close’s performance in “Fatal Attraction,” this film doesn’t give Larter’s psycho-temp a believable back story and it certainly doesn’t ground the story in a realistic office situation. I suppose that the woman is just crazy and the Human Resources Department is out on vacation.

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