Perfect Stranger James Foley

Perfect Stranger James Foley
Let me put the cards on the table: Perfect Stranger is the front-runner for worst movie of the year. Maybe ever. A fiery collision of tortuous plotting, painfully unmouthable dialogue, sleazy supporting characters and what ranks as the most bizarre and implausible shock ending of any movie of the past ten years, it’s a special sort of train wreck that comes along once in a generation. Halle Berry embarrasses herself completely as an investigative reporter who’s trying to infiltrate the agency of Bruce Willis’s ad exec — seems that lecherous Willis has possibly murdered a childhood friend of Berry’s, meaning she has to worm her way into his life (and maybe his bed) with the help of sociopath techie Giovanni Ribisi. That description conjures images of a boring erotic thriller, circa 1992, but nothing about this film is by the book Perfect Stranger careens from the insane overacting of the two nominal good guys to gratuitous digs at a lesbian assistant and the uncomfortable creepiness on the part of Ribisi. His presence as a sympathetic character in a major Hollywood movie is the most astounding thing about Perfect Stranger, with his stalker-ish behaviour making Travis Bickle look like Charlie Rose by comparison. But by the time we’ve made that particular judgment we’ve already been confounded by the acid-flashback plotting that can’t decide who’s a hero and who’s a villain, and changes its story so many times your head will spin like Linda Blair’s. An out-of-left-field ending gives some evidence of re-shooting but I can’t imagine the test audience who would approve the current version. Perfect Stranger is a ridiculous capper to a freaked-out movie for camp fanciers and absolutely no one else. Consider yourself warned. (Sony)