Perfect Stranger

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A journalist gets in over her head chasing a possible serial-killer CEO in this paranoid thriller/corporate muckraking drama/chatroom cautionary tale, no relation to the sitcom Perfect Strangers. Ace reporter Rowena (Berry) opens the film with a bang by getting a McGreeveyian politician to bribe her on the record. Alas, her star source recants his backup quote, and Rowena takes out her frustration by investigating an ad exec (Willis) who may or may not have poisoned her friend with belladonna extract.

With the aid of a hacker (Ribisi), whose fixation on Ro straddles the friend-stalker divide, Berry goes undercover in the corporate world, which as depicted seems to be a giant singles’ party where the boss sleeps with the temps in rotation and occasionally stages public beatings of rival companies’ spies. Berry, Willis and Ribisi pull long hours competing to give the worst performance, and we’re inclined to give them all a raise.

Upping the ante on Basic Instinct’s choose-your-own-adventure ending, Perfect Stranger supplies clues that support four possible outcomes. Opting for the dumbest, the movie shows that the only thing worse than a generically screwy thriller is one with a selective narrator—and one that doesn’t give viewers a fair chance to play along. 

Release details

Cast and crew

Director: James Foley
Screenwriter: Todd Komarnicki
Cast: Halle Berry
Bruce Willis
Giovanni Ribisi
Gary Dourdan
Clea Lewis
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