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Review: 'Obsessed'

April 27, 2009|Gary Goldstein

It would be easy shorthand to describe "Obsessed" as "Fatal Attraction" with more diverse casting, but that wouldn't be entirely true. This new thriller, though a glossy, perfectly serviceable time-passer, lacks both the heat and the moral ambiguity that made the 1980s classic so compellingly complex.

That's mainly because the liaison here between Idris Elba's sturdy asset manager Derek and gorgeous office temp/delusional stalker Lisa (Ali Larter) never becomes as irrefutable as the Michael Douglas-Glenn Close attraction that proved so, well, fatal. This one's a lot more one-sided, which, for better or worse, makes Derek more safely sympathetic than Douglas' straying Dan.

Derek and Lisa's relationship, like much else in "Obsessed," is short on dimension and subtlety, but it turns into a mess believable enough to keep us invested.

Director Steve Shill, working from David Loughery's utilitarian script, moves things along quickly and efficiently, providing a requisite number of tense, squirm-inducing moments along the way.

Then there's Beyonce Knowles, who literally and figuratively kicks butt as Sharon, Derek's hot, forthright wife. The singer-actress' saucy, glamorously wry performance makes up for some of the film's inherent predictability.

It's probably worth seeing "Obsessed" with a big audience just to experience the Beyonce mania that is bound to erupt during the movie's crowd-pleasing finale.

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'Obsessed'

MPAA rating: PG-13 for sexual material including some suggestive dialogue, some violence and thematic content

Running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Playing: In general release

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