Saturday, April 25, 2009


With the early box office numbers projecting a clear and easy path to number one for the Beyonce Knowles project, Obsessed, it's now safe to label this movie the worst pop cultural event of the year... thus far.

Forget the poor film making for a moment (director Steve Shill is a veteran TV director, and it shows), for as a product, Obsessed is that rare thing, a misogynistic thriller-drama aimed toward a female target audience. And yes, you may blame Beyonce and her father, Matthew, for this abomination. The talented pop singer has previously proven herself to be a not-so-bad actress, but Obsessed is simply a vehicle, pushed by herself and her father, to let the megastar's "crazy bitch" flag fly in the film's final ten-minute free for all.

In fact, "Dumb, Crazy Bitches" would have been a more fitting title for Obsessed. The movie's other leading lady, Ali Larter (the Joey Lauren Adams of the '00s), plays Lisa, a nympho-sociopath with an alpha male itch to scratch upon temping for the ladder climbing hunk, Dereck (Idris Elba ... this guy needs a new agent: in the last year he's been in Prom Night, The Unborn, and Obsessed, all zeros) at a hedge fund firm. Meanwhile, Dereck winds up in the middle of a Jerry Springer-esque love pickle, making beau coup duckets by the bucket while "dumb bitch" Lisa and "crazy bitch" Sharon pull hair over the handsome guy. To make matters worse, Dereck didn't even do anything to warrant Sharon's crowd-pleasing, ghettofied "get out my house!" rant. This moment only aids in reinforcing black female stereotypes, and nothing else.

What a rotten spectacle this rotten movie is for the young ladies of America to set their eyes upon. Yep, somehow Obsessed scored itself that box-office tripling PG-13 rating. Well, we know how and why it did, but if the irresponsible marketing of such high-grade trash to our pre-teen youth doesn't tick you off, then the fact that movies like Happy-Go-Lucky, The Fall, or Adventureland waste away in two-week-run hell with their R ratings ought to. What's more infuriating (and disappointing) is that Beyonce has had a record of putting out fun, feet-friendly, female-empowering singles from "Bills, Bills, Bills" and "Say My Name" to "Irreplaceable" and "Single Ladies". Yet with Obsessed, she seems privy to put on a "Ruffneck" persona.

I suppose a rental of this movie with a lover or a friend might bring for some casually enjoyable mocking or makeshift drinking games, but there truly isn't even a redemptive so-bad-its-good quality to Obsessed. Some may feel the urge to say that Obsessed recalls the early 90's "obsession" movies of The Hand that Rocks the Cradle or Single White Female, but even while it's been fifteen years since my pre-critical brain saw either one of those movies, I feel comfortable giving the gas face to that type of comparison. Plus, Ali Larter just poofs dry clouds of anti-sexuality throughout this movie. Even a bizarre looking Glenn Close can achieve a raw sexiness by channeling some creepy crawly come-ons, but Larter still preens like the shaving cream girl from Varsity Blues.

The only joy I got from Obsessed was a recurring personal giggle from the name of one of the characters, Joe Gage. That may mean nothing to you wholesome folks, but Google El Paso Trucking Co. privately at home, one day (definitely AT HOME, not at work), and you will understand. Sure, I've gone completely off the tracks here with this review, but it's only in staying loyal and in line with the spirit of the film. Would you rather I type out more plot points? Or do you really need to know why Jerry O'Connell gives the best performance in the film? Well... by all means, don't trust me, go see Obsessed. Go see it and report back to me so I can pad my comments. But at least believe me enough to bring a scratch pad or wear loose pants so you can diddle with your balls once the boredom sets in.


Bob Turnbull said...

I prefer to do my ball-diddling at home thank you very much.

"Happy-Go-Lucky", "The Fall" and "Adventureland" were all 'R' rated? Seriously? Not that I should be surprised by the half-wits at the MPAA, but that's just goofy.

No plans to see this film. Didn't have them before and certainly don't have them now. Too bad though - Beyonce certainly is talented, but it looks like she and her team may be doing a JLo "who cares about the actual product? - just push your name out there!" strategy.

:Debbie said...

hilarious post!

Sorry, I can't pad your comments w/anything worthwhile cause I won't see this film.

:Debbie said...

Oh, and I recently watched Marie Antoinette. Hello. LOVED that movie.
And, it got stinky reviews, right?

Marie Antoinette

Those would make my 2009 top ten list. I'm way behind the times.

Sorry, again to be off topic!

Ed Howard said...

Fox goes to see the worst films at the box office, so we don't have to. You do a valuable public service, Fox.

Fox said...


The thing is, I can understand an R rating for Adventureland b/c the language is pretty heavy, but in comparison to Obsessed the "R rated" content is minimal. I mean, just the ugliness of the film alone should give it a 17 + rating, but then, of course, Beyonce's teenage buying public wouldn't spend tickets on it.

But Happy-Go-Lucky and The Fall... I don't get an R rating for either one of those. I mean, Happy-Go-Lucky is an adult film (content wise), so no 12-14 year old is gonna go see it anyways, but I think The Fall actually kind of works as a kids film. Obviously, a child isn't gonna grasp all of what is happening in that movie, but it reminds me of how my 5-year old niece loves watching Spirited Away as much as she loves watching Monsters Inc.. It's just the colors and weird looking people and places in that movie that resonate with them, and I think The Fall could do that.

Fox said...


We can lock fingers 4 EVA on CJ7, but I wasn't too hot on Marie Antoinette. I won't be able to articulately tell you why since it's been so long since I've seen it, but it's probably got to to do with me not understanding the appeal of Sophia Coppola at all. I'm just not a fan. I don't what she's trying to do. They look pretty, but feel empty. Not my thang.

However, I DID like the use of that Strokes' song as Dunst was running down the hall.


Thanks. You know, you'd think one day I would run out of interest, but I just don't. I always reserve a hope that maybe this will be good. For instance, the first shot in Obsessed is mildly long and kind of interestingly executed. But it all ended there.

Craig said...

I love this movie. I want this movie. I can't stop thinking about this movie. I want to be with this movie all the time. No one else in the audience understands this movie like me. Everyone else takes this movie for granted. But I won't. I haven't seen it yet, and never will, but I don't have to. This movie is mine. Mine. MINE. Some things are destiny. And our destiny is this movie and I will be together. Together. Forever and ever. And if not, if this movie doesn't leave its audience, if this movie betrays me, then this movie will pay. Oh, how it will PAY!!!

Fox said...

This movie is mine. Mine. MINE. Some things are destiny. And our destiny is this movie and I will be together....


It sounds like you are destiny's child.

bill r. said...

Isn't Idris Elba the guy who plays Charles Miner on The Office? I think his run on the show just ended, but he was good. Maybe that will boost him past this kind of dreck.

Fox, I was going to wonder at the fact that you really will see just about anything, but Ed beat me to it. Honestly, though, if I didn't know better I'd think you were getting paid to do this. Otherwise, why would you do this to yourself?

And speaking of padding one's comments, I just put something up on Vinyan and JCVD that I hope you can check out.

Fox said...

Otherwise, why would you do this to yourself?...

I love pop culture. I guess that's one great way of explaining it. That, and I feel that anytime you watch a movie (of any quality) that it helps expand your critical thinking.

If I ever feel like I'm too stuck on watching one genre or time period of movie, then I feel like I'm limiting myself.

Plus... you get surprises. Examples: Ilsa Fisher's performance in Confessions of a Shopaholic (in my opinion, one of the years best), and Zac Efron in 17 Again (charming and genuinely funny).

Oh, and I will def be checking out your Vinyan/JCVD post, if not now (work!), then soon soon soon.

Craig said...

Bill -- Idris Elba was Charles Miner on "The Office," and perhaps even better known as Stringer Bell on "The Wire." He played Charles pretty much the same way he did Stringer, which I found amusing.

hokahey said...

Fox - A great tirade! I agree. This is a shockingly bad movie. The whole Fatal Attraction part of the film follows a cookie-cutter plot pattern and then the combat at the end is ridiculous. The climax sets itself up for parody in a future Scary Movie sequel: Lisa opens her eye. The chandelier falls. Lisa opens her eye again. The ceiling caves in. Lisa opens her eye again...

aunt john said...

Did you mean El Paso Wrecking Corp. &/or Kansas City Trucking Co.?

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