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- Published on Amazon.com
In the movie Perfect Stranger Halle Berry plays Rowena, a journalist dedicated to uncovering greed and corruption among people in positions of power (read: rich, white men) with the help of her tech-savvy partner in crime, Miles (Giovanni Ribisi). She writes under the name of David Shane, perhaps in an effort to give her stories more clout among those she seeks to bring to justice. Rowena is partying in a bar with Miles, celebrating the success of her latest story, a senator who has a penchant for sleeping with his male interns, when her boss comes in to tell her that the story is being shut down by the bigwigs at her paper. Rowena quits her job in a huff and runs out of the bar, only to be followed by a friend from her past, Grace.
Grace seems to know all about Rowena's secret identity as David Shane, and hands Rowena a story that will help her rebuild her career and show the men at her paper that she really is a great journalist. Grace is involved with Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis), the owner of the largest advertising agency in New York, H2A. Grace met Hill in an Internet chat room and became sexually involved with him. Hill, a married man, breaks off their affair in due time, but Grace refuses to go away quietly. She wants Hill exposed as a cheater and a liar and she wants Rowena to do the exposing. Rowena takes Grace's evidence, but doesn't agree to do the story. When Grace turns up dead a week later, Rowena finally decides to investigate. She infiltrates H2A, with Miles's help, and poses as a temp to get closer to Hill. She wants to find out if he's the man behind Grace's death, but she doesn't suspect she might begin to fall for him in the interim...
Coming from a person who likes bad movies and revels in the trash that Oscar winners go on to star in (eg, Catwoman, Aeon Flux), Perfect Stranger is virtually unwatchable. For starters, there's the director's penchant for extreme close-ups. And I mean extreme. At one point, I could see the inside of Bruce Willis's nostrils. Then, there's the newsboy cap that Halle Berry runs around in for most of the film, which I guess is meant to convince us that she's really a journalist. Also, we have Berry's gratuitous sex scenes with the hottie from CSI, which in no way add to the plot or continuity of the movie, but I guess if men don't get to hear Halle Berry talking dirty they won't feel they've gotten their money's worth. And let me not forget the fact that Halle Berry takes on a distinct lisp when she says the F-word (seriously, every single time it sounds like she might spit on someone), and she says it quite a few times over the course of the film. Finally, there was the end-of-the-movie voice-over wrap up, which I just cannot tolerate. You know what I mean (think Wild Things), when the movie's ending doesn't make any sense so instead a voice-over tells you all the clues you were supposed to have seen but didn't, so that the real story can be uncovered. It's a cop out and sloppy story-telling, and put the finishing touches on an already crappy film.
There were 100 other things wrong with this movie that I might have been able to forgive if it had aired on Lifetime instead of in a movie theater. I laughed out loud more times than I can count, and this movie is billed as a "psychological thriller," not a comedy. Take my advice and rent Wild Things or Gothika or heck, even Glitter, and you'll be guaranteed to have a better time than wasting $8 to see this drivel.