Perfect Stranger

Film
2 out of 5 stars
HALLE IS FOR HEROES Willis gets some face time.
HALLE IS FOR HEROES Willis gets some face time.

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Halle Berry will always have her moment in the sun, deserved or not. Since then, she’s done a fairly criminal job of robbing us of ours. Some films are marred by absurd endings; this dire journo-thriller is like one big mar—mostly due to Berry’s self-serious histrionics—slightly redeemed by a final twist so utterly ridiculous, so beyond loopy, it would make M. Night green with alien envy.

Of course, getting there is half the pain. Berry plays Rowena, one of those Gotham reporters whose job it is to pin down interview subjects like arthropods, throw hissy fits in bars, grapple with half-buried family trauma and loll around spacious UWS apartments. After a gal pal shows up dead, Rowena and snark source Miles (Ribisi, nails on chalkboard) vow vengeance, hoping to link the murder to adulterous ad exec Harrison Hill (Willis), a viable suspect. Donning a push-up bra, Ro goes undercover as a temp.

The romantic ensnaring that follows has all the heat of an interoffice memo. Director James Foley, who did so well by Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, seems to have lost his ear. Even when yaps are shut, the film tanks: There is simply no way to make instant messaging cinematic, much less sexy. Sorry! :( (Opens Fri; Click here for venues.) — Joshua Rothkopf

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