"The Rich Man's Wife" has potential, it really does, but it turns out to be too much like the plot of something you'd watch on LIFETIME (a network that claims to be good for women, but continually features tortured females running from bad men.) How many times can you tell the same cliched story before it bores you to tears? The pluses in this film are Halle Berry, Clea Lewis and the cinematography. There are too many cons to list here.
The "big" plot twist (and this was right after THE USUAL SUSPECTS and a few years before plot twists became all the rage) is ludicrous after it follows ninety minutes of a flashback that is nothing more than mixed-up foreshadowing. No matter what context you place the "this is what happened" in, it still does not connect well with the ending. The ending appears to have been slapped on at the last minute. "Hey," the writers must have thought, "let's throw in a completely misplaced plot twist." Unlike MULHOLLAND DRIVE (a wonderfully complex film), the fact that this film does not make sense is due to poor writing, NOT a great abstract mind as in the case of David Lynch.
In reference to a previous reviewer who seemed disturbed that a black man (who was unjustly accused of the murder) rightfully sought justice: this aspect of the film was one of the few times it broke tradition and tried to become a meaningful film. Racial profiling, unfortunately, is something that still happens in a police department and Detective Lewis was more than justified in pointing out his colleague's racist tendencies.
Every time the film started to go somewhere that could have made it a strong film (exploring the volatie relationship of marriage, the horrible impact of racism on someone's life, infidelity) it suddenly turned back into a cheesy Lifetime movie.