‘Perfect Stranger’


When the big, bad powers-that-be fuck her over on her exposé of an intern-fucking U.S. senator, star newspaper reporter Halle Berry says “Fuck you” to the world of print journalism—until, that is, her old childhood friend (Nicki Aycox) washes up dead in the Hudson, and Berry sets out to put the screws to the smarmy ad exec (Bruce Willis) who was fucking the dead woman behind his wife’s back. Pulling her best Lois Lane, Berry goes undercover in Willis’s glittering glass-and-steel office and, with a little IT help from her own Jimmy Olsen (Giovanni Ribisi), starts giving the boss virtual cock teases under the IM handle “Rocketgirl.” Directed with palpable fatigue by James Foley (who once made good movies—After Dark My Sweet, At Close Range) from a script by novelist Todd Komarnicki, Perfect Stranger derives some novelty value from its colorblind casting and from being the most ludicrously silly Hollywood fuck-fest since the Willis-starring Color of Night (minus that movie’s comic self-awareness). But as a thriller, it’s so by-the-numbers that it’s hardly worth keeping count. In the end, so much damning evidence has been amassed against nearly all the main characters that the final revelation feels like the one that merely tested the best. Perhaps, Clue-style, they should have included them all. It certainly would have lent new meaning to the expression, “Colonel Mustard did it in the pantry.”