2009-05-15 / Entertainment/Lifestyles


'Obsessed' - Fatal Jungle Fever
By Robert Snyder

Although skin color is never mentioned, "Obsessed" is certainly exploiting racial tensions when a hot, white female office temp sexually stalks an African American upwardly mobile married exec. It's "Fatal Attraction" meets "Jungle Fever." And, the resemblance between O.J. and Nicole Simpson is not likely a coincidence.

The only new element is the territorial warrior wife played by Beyoncé Knowles, who fights to the death to maintain her marriage. The other movies didn't feature such a no-nonsense female spouse on a final rampage against the home wrecker.

Written by David Loughery, whose "Lakeview Terrace "also wrestled with racial issues, "Obsessed" basically follows a paint-by-numbers "Fatal Attraction" scenario, leaving out the baked pet rabbit. We have the cute kidnapped kid and the sicko girl's suicide attempt, along with the horny encounter in close quarters (this time, it's a men's room stall, not an elevator).

While villainess Lisa Sheridan (Ali Larter) is almost as psychotic as the Glenn Close "Attraction" character, male victim Derek Charles (Idris Elba) is nowhere near as lustful as either the characters portrayed by "Fatal's" Michael Douglas or "Fever's" Wesley Snipes. In fact, Derek never goes even half, much less all, the way in his illicit relationship.

The taut, workmanlike Steve Shrill direction keeps things hopping, though predictable. Larter does make her bad girl threatening through the climatic combat, despite what Beyoncé dismisses as her "skinny ass."

For those wishing to waste an afternoon or evening on recycled entertainment, "Obsessed" may be your kind of mad woman movie.

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