The first hit film of the fall is an utterly generic, totally predictable stalker thriller aimed at an African American audience.
Sanaa Lathan is the super-successful lobbyist Leah, parking her Caddy in front of her designer house, stepping out in her designer wardrobe with her live-in lawyer beau (Morris Chestnut).
But Leah wants it all, and that includes married. And children.
“I’m dated out.”
Dave (Chestnut) doesn’t. So that’s that.
Enter the guy she locks eyes with at the coffee shop. Carter (Michael Ealy) has those dreamy Michael Ealy bedroom eyes, just the right stubble, a vintage Dodge Charger he borrowed from Vin Diesel and just the right lines.
He loves kids, charms her friends and parents (Charles Dutton is her dad). Even his job sounds “perfect.” He’s a corporate Internet security expert. He “makes people feel safe.”
He doesn’t need to ask for her number.
“It’s 2015, and I’m an IT expert!”
Leah melts, gives in to passion in a club bathroom, and is all warm and fuzzy over Carter. Until he snaps. And snaps again. He’s got a temper for the ages.
And trying to get away from an obsessive, grudge-carrying IT expert in 2015 is every bit as difficult as you’d expect.
“You’d expect” is the key phrase here, as in every line pops into your head a few seconds, or minutes, before it pops out of a character’s mouth.
“I’ve never done anything like that before…You know I’d never hurt, you, right?”
Seriously, there’s an app that can whip up this crap.
The foreshadowing (an elderly, busybody neighbor is played by Tess Harper, and Leah has a cat) is laughable formulaic.’
The most original writing scripter Tyger Williams came up with was inventing that adorable first name. The direction (David M. Rosenthal, me either) is pedestrian in the extreme.
The cast is solid, game, competent. And the you can’t fault an audience for seeking a little female victimhood/female empowerment in their romantic thrillers.
But really, everybody involved should hold out for something better than this.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, menace, sexuality and brief strong language.
Cast: Sanaa Lathan, Michael Ealy, Morris Chestnut
Credits: Directed by David M. Rosenthal, script by Tyger Williams. A Sony Screen Gems release.
Running time: 1:44