Perfect Stranger (film)

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Perfect Stranger
Perfect Stranger Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Foley
Produced by Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas
Stephanie Langhoff
Daniel A. Thomas
Screenplay by Todd Komarnicki
Story by Jon Bokenkamp
Starring Halle Berry
Bruce Willis
Giovanni Ribisi
Music by Antonio Pinto
Cinematography Anastas N. Michos
Edited by Christopher Tellefsen
Production
company
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • April 13, 2007 (2007-04-13)
Running time 109 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60,795,000[1]
Box office $73,090,611[2]

Perfect Stranger is a 2007 American neo-noir psychological thriller film, directed by James Foley, starring Halle Berry and Bruce Willis in their first film together since 1991's The Last Boy Scout. It was produced by Revolution Studios for Columbia Pictures.

Plot[edit]

The film opens with reporter Rowena Price (Halle Berry) and researcher Miles Haley (Giovanni Ribisi) going after a conservative Republican senator who has been having secret sexual encounters with his male interns despite his publicly anti-gay agenda. The story is shut down, however, when the source clams up and Rowena's editor, a supporter of the senator, puts a stop to the story. The editor also insists she take a vacation and won't take no for an answer.

While walking home, Rowena meets her childhood friend, Grace Clayton (Nicki Aycox), who seeks her help in taking down Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis), a wealthy advertising executive. Grace gives Rowena her e-mails as proof of their extramarital affair, which Hill recently ended.

A few days later Grace is found dead, leading Rowena to suspect Harrison. With Miles' help Rowena goes undercover as a temp at his company. She flirts with Hill both online and in real life (not realizing the online Hill is actually Miles) but when he catches her snooping, believing her to be a corporate spy, he fires her.

At Miles's apartment, Rowena discovers a shrine to her and explicit pictures of Miles and Grace. Miles arrives home and Rowena confronts him; he defends himself by providing evidence that Hill had access to belladona for poisoning. She goes to the police, who arrest Harrison for the murder of Grace.

After Hill's conviction, Miles visits Rowena. He then tells her that he knows she is the real killer and has been using this investigation to frame Hill. Rowena flashes back to a memory of her father attempting to molest her, and her mother subsequently bludgeoning him to death with a fireplace poker. A younger Grace watches from her window as they bury his body. Grace has been blackmailing Rowena with this knowledge. Miles describes in detail how she had plotted the murder to end Grace's blackmail and pinned the murder on Hill. Miles asks how she intends to keep him quiet, implying she might sleep with him, since he has long lusted after her. However, Rowena stabs him to death and ransacks the kitchen. She then calls the police, claiming to have been attacked by Miles and that he might have been the real murderer. The film ends with a man looking out of a neighboring window, presumably having witnessed what really happened and hence echoing that the blackmail chain was going to keep continuing as before.

Production[edit]

Some of the scenes were filmed in the new World Trade Center lobby, before its opening in March 2006.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Perfect Stranger was critically panned, with an 11% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 138 reviews.[3]

Peter Travers of the Rolling Stone said, "Foley fights a losing battle with Perfect Stranger, a dull, dumb and unforgivably dated thriller, free of thrills and any kind of perfection, save a genius for product placement. Halle Berry and Bruce Willis, forced to compete with blatant plugs for Reebok, Heineken and Victoria's Secret, understandably give up all attempts at acting. Foley merely poses them like spears of prize broccoli. Berry plays a reporter trying to pin a murder on a married ad exec. You guessed it, Willis plays the rich horndog with a jealous wife and a jones for finding fresh meat on Internet chat rooms. That's right, it's a techno thriller that treats the already cliché topic of Web abuse with an idiotic sense of discovery. I won't go on, but the movie does with droning predictability." [4]

Home media[edit]

Perfect Stranger was released on August 21, 2007 on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

Promotion[edit]

The characters of Grace, Josie, and Mrs. Hill all have blogs dating back to September or October 2006 with YouTube videos of the respective actresses, in character, speaking the text of the entry with minor changes. This is a relatively new form of viral marketing similar to an alternate reality game.

References[edit]

External links[edit]