Reel Noteworthy: Obsessed (2009) Steve Shill

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Not too long ago a friend of mine came to my room so we could watch a movie. It was the typical situation: he wanted to watch an action movie, I wanted to watch a comedy, and neither one of us was willing to budge. Then it hit me. We could do both. So we watched Obsessed (2009).

Billed as an action-thriller, the film stars Idris Elba (American Gangster), Beyonce Knowles (Dreamgirls), and Ali Larter (Heroes), and is directed by Steve Shill. I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to be funny. But, similar to Tamara, it is, and I love it.

Obsessed tells the story of Derek Charles (Elba), a successful business man who is happily married to his former secretary, Sharon (Knowles). They have an infant son and have just moved into a spacious house. Everything seems to be going well for the Charles family. Then, one day, temp worker Lisa Sheridan (Larter) starts working in his office, and mistakes Derek’s kindness for deeper feelings. Hilarity ensues as Lisa shamelessly stalks Derek and he does his absolute best to hide everything from his wife. Of course he can’t, and that’s when Sharon decides it’s time to protect her man.

The entire movie works towards an all-out brawl between Sharon and Lisa that trashes the new house. Lamps are overturned, blood is spilled, and chandeliers are broken. I guess that’s what happens when you “come up in” Beyonce’s house. That scene alone was worth the price of admission.

When I saw the trailer for this movie a few months prior to its release, I knew it would be hysterical. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint. Beyonce’s performance as the protective, jealous wife is fantastic. She pulls off angry, brooding, and fierce very well.

Larter, meanwhile, does little to give Lisa any kind of depth. All the audience can see that she’s insane, but we never find out why. To be fair, I don’t think the movie needs it. We get enough of a treat listening to Beyonce reciting lines such as, “You touched my child! You think you’re crazy? I’ll show you crazy. Just try me, bitch!” I’m laughing as I type it now.

I do have one complaint about the movie, however: too many scenes of the happy marriage between Derek and Sharon. I know it’s important to establish how he would never cheat on her, and they were really in love, but I would much rather see another scene of Lisa’s craziness or Beyonce going on a rant about, well, anything really.

I’m Obsessed with this movie. You should be too.

Keith Carroll

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