Obsessed a dumbed-down rehash | AspenTimes.com

Obsessed a dumbed-down rehash

Stephen HoldenNew York Times News ServiceAspen, CO Colorado
Beyonce Knowles in "Obsessed."

There are no boiled bunnies in Obsessed, a clanking, low-rent imitation of Fatal Attraction that lacks the imagination to come up with such a novelty. But because Ali Larter plays Lisa, the movies psychotic lady-who-refuses-to-take-no-for-an-answer like a carbon copy of Glenn Closes demonic temptress in the original, she succeeds in pushing buttons that make you root for her destruction and feel ashamed for doing so.As Lisa, a sultry office temp, puts the moves on Derek Charles (Idris Elba), a happily married investment banker, she wears an insinuating smirk that turns into a crazy rictus smile. Sidling up to Derek at a fancy bar and ordering two dirty martinis, she announces that she likes hers filthy.Watching her flash Derek the look of lust, a colleague offers the questionable observation that young women nowadays view the workplace as a sexual hunting ground, and that Lisa obviously has him in her cross hairs.There is no moral ambiguity in this dumbed-down rehash of the earlier movie, directed by Steve Shill from a screenplay by David Loughery. Unlike Michael Douglas cheating husband in Fatal Attraction, Derek never succumbs to Lisas advances, even when she follows him into a bathroom stall and throws herself on him like a wildcat.Derek has just moved into a beautiful house with his wife, Sharon (Beyonce Knowles), and their young son. Until Lisa appears, their only immediate problem is whether to remove the mirror from the bedroom ceiling.At work, Derek is riding high, having just reeled in a $150 million account. For a while he succeeds in fending off Lisa. But just when he thinks she has abandoned her campaign, she trails him to a corporate retreat, where she poses as his wife to enter his hotel room and tries to kill herself with sleeping pills. After Lisas attempted suicide, Derek, who neglected to tell Sharon about the harassment, endures a domestic fall from grace. But this perfect husband and father isnt down and out for long.The biggest difference between Fatal Attraction and Obsessed is the characterization of the threatened wife. Unlike the mousy, demure spouse played by Anne Archer in the original, Sharon is a proactive woman warrior, to put it mildly. Largely in the background for the first two-thirds of the movie, Knowles strides to the center at the end when Sharon and Lisa have their inevitable knockdown, drag-out confrontation.The movies most disturbing aspect, of which the filmmakers could not have been unaware, is the physical resemblance between Elba and Larter to O.J. and Nicole Brown Simpson. It lends Obsessed a distasteful taint of exploitation.

Obsessed is rated PG-13 (parents strongly cautioned) for strong language, violence and sexual situations. Running time: 1 hour, 48 minutes.

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