Domestic Disturbance

Bomb Rating: 

If you want to see a perfect example of star power ruining a movie, just take in "Domestic Disturbance." This horribly-conceived story tries to start in a place that's convenient for a tangential character just because that tangential character is played by John Travolta.

Travolta plays Frank Morrison. He's divorced and his ex-wife, Susan (Teri Polo) is marrying another man, Rick Barnes (Vince Vaughn). Frank's son, Danny (Matthew O'Leary), witnesses Rick murder somebody, but can't convince his mother or the police that he's telling the truth, since he has a history of acting out. Fortunately, his dad believes him.

However, Frank could have been a good friend or a cop or whomever. Frank isn't that relevant to the story. The story is the conflict between this kid and his stepdad. The tension should come from Rick's peculiar behavior. However, we're never in doubt about Rick's guilt because we witness it too. Director Harold Becker, who despite plenty of chances has never made a good film (his last one was "Solo"), tries to convince us that the story is about Frank and his decision to believe his son.

As for Teri Polo's role, the filmmakers might as well replace her with a computer-animated vagina with legs, because that's essentially how she's cast. Do women have brains? I wouldn't know the answer, if "Domestic Disturbance" were my frame of reference. I think in early drafts of the screenplay, her character Susan simply went by the name "STUPID NO-GOOD BITCH EX-WIFE." She's stupid to divorce Frank (our hero), stupid to marry a guy who's a criminal and stupid not to believe her own son. One gets the sense Becker or Travolta just made this film to get back at their exes for head never received. Such is life in Hollywood.

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