Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Perfect Stranger

Perfect Stranger
Starring:
Halle Berry, Bruce Willis, Giovanni Ribisi, Florencia Lozano and Nicki Aycox


Rated: R  for sexual content, nudity, some disturbing violent images and language
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: April 13, 2007 Released by: Columbia TriStar

Director James Foley and writers Todd Komarnicki and Jon Bokenkamp could have served the career of Halle Berry with a scenario of Perfect Stranger that had a little more deliberate thought provoking dialogue along with a structured ending which could have been as dramatic as Vertigo. But the thought process like Hitchcock's is beyond their reach as it is for Halle Berry's Rowena.

While Bruce Willis' Harrison Hill is pegged to be the bad guy, married and playing around regularly, he may have even darker secrets hidden away which former reporter Rowena wants to ferret out. She's lost her job at least for a couple of weeks because a source which exposes a homophobic United States senator (Gordon MacDonald) that is secretly gay, has gone south on her.

Though she appears to hang with questionable men and her boyfriend makes it worst by having sex with Grace (Nicki Aycox) who brings information which can take down Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis) the advertising mogul who pushes "Victoria Secret" underwear. We even learn that dear old dad couldn't understand that daughters are off limits.

But there is Miles (Giovanni Ribisi) the computer guy who is just a friend but is obviously in love with Rowena. It's his skill that opens the doors to Hill's extra curricular activities and the fact he had a relation with Grace who has been brutally murdered. After the murder Rowena and Miles are partners to the end.

While Barry convinces us she is a sweet nice girl in the big city, she fails to be effective in her angry scenes which border on amateurish, she is also saddled with more four letter words than a rapper. Ribisi on the other hand is quite convincing as he lives the life of a loner geek who understands cyber space but only connects with women under circumstances which he doesn't understand the motivation for.

While Harrison Hill's philosophy of "eat or be eaten" in the corporate advertising world continues to show up and Rowena's type A personality flairs from time to time, Berry is too sweet too often to be believed when she changes. Ribisi is nicely effective as the hacker and dedicated friend but the script and direction don't measure up. When it's over there is nothing perfect in Perfect Strangers.

  Frank Chris Tony Jim Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Perfect Stranger B- D+   C- C+ B- B- C+

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