The Rich Man's Wife

Bomb Rating: 

"The Rich Man's Wife" amounts to a cross between a blatant rip-off of "The Usual Suspects" and the"it was all a dream" episode of "Dallas."

This film is mistitled. Granted, it's about a rich guy's wife,Josie Potenza (Halle Berry), but she's boring as hell, a good candidate for anorexic of the week and basically an indecisive wuss -- at least where her relationship with her husband, Tony (Christopher McDonald), is concerned. Does she love him or does she want him dead? That pretty much sums up the two most important questions in all relationships, doesn't it?

If I were a producer interested in luring people into this film, I would have called it "Zed's Big Adventure." Renaming the movie wouldn't make it any less idiotic, but in it Peter Greene (Zed from "Pulp Fiction") again plays a villain with a one-syllable name, Cole. Had they but slapped on the new title, millions of twentysomethings who work themselves into a drooling pop-culture frenzy at the very mention of the words "Zed's dead" would have cut off their arms just to say they saw this movie.

Apparently though, director Amy Holden Jones wanted to put her own unique, feminine twist on the male-psychopathic-killer thing, so Cole yells "bitch" and "whore" over and over again after he kills Josie's husband. Early on, Jones really gets the tension going by having Cole drive Josie home -- I don't know how this got past the MPAA ratings board -- with the headlights off! Oh my god! I cowered for fear that next, he'd put his left foot on the accelerator and turn the windshield wipers on.

Among Jones' directorial credits is "Slumber Party Massacre." If that doesn't inspire you to cough up twenty million dollars for her to write and direct a mystery/thriller, then you obviously don't belong in Hollywood. Not surprisingly, "The Rich Man's Wife" amounts to a cross between a blatant rip-off of "The Usual Suspects" and the "it was all a dream" episode of "Dallas." If only it were possible to wake up after watching this film.

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