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Monday, August 10, 2009

Obsessed (**)


An evil white girl played by Ali Larter tries to tear the perfect marriage of Idris Elba and Beyonce apart. Obsessed is exactly the movie you think it is. There isn't an ounce of subtlety and every plot point is telegraphed a mile away for maximum hooting and hollering. Larter plays her obsessed homewrecker with two speeds: crazy and then batshit crazy. She temps at some sort of financial firm where Elba is the only respectable vice president on the roster. Every other VP is a back-slapping, drunken fratboy (Jerry O'Connell is one of them. Nuff said.) Elba is carefully positioned as a noble family man who is without blame when Larter literally throws herself at him over and over. His fatal flaws are that he likes the ladies and he didn't immediately confess to Beyonce that he flirted with the white girl temp, who then attempted to drug him and rape him twice. But it's made clear over and over that he would never, ever cheat on Beyonce, if he knows what's good for him. It eventually becomes clear that this is Beyonce's movie all the way. Her's is the only character who has an arc: she goes from suspicious, to angry and shrill, to suddenly understanding and supportive after a montage where we gradually see her anger at Elba dissipate and her face soften. Third act Beyonce is all hell hath no fury like a black woman about to tear apart a crazy white girl's bony ass. It's actually kind of a marvel to see something like Obsessed, a movie so perfectly calibrated to appeal to its targeted audience. It's the black woman's Twilight.