The Rich Man's Wife

"Good"

The Rich Man's Wife Review


There are a couple of rules inherent to the thriller that any filmmaker should be aware of. First, you have to keep the pace moving so fast that the audience doesn't have time to think about whodunit. And second, if you kill off most of the cast, whoever's left alive at the end of the movie is the one who did the killing.

The Rich Man's Wife blindly ignores both of these rules, but still manages to float, thanks to a united effort by an exceptional cast and exquisite production values. Amy Holden Jones directs her own screenplay here, a modern-day reworking of Hitchcock's masterful Strangers on a Train.

Hitch's story revolved around a man who took a joke too far -- an offer to kill the other's wife. This time, it's wife Josie (Halle Berry) kills ultra-rich husband Tony (Christopher McDonald) with the aid of friendly sociopath Cole (Peter Greene). Jones also throws in some interesting twists about Josie's forlorn lover Jake (Clive Owen) and his ex-wife Nora (Clea Lewis from TV's Ellen) -- the latter who all but steals the show.

But the main problem is that despite a tight 100 minute running time, Jones's pacing is slower than a Yugo headed uphill, primarily because there's not a lot of story filler off the main path of the film (this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just doesn't work right here). The other problem is that none of the characters in the film are very good at being criminals; leaving mile-wide trails for the cops. (Then again, this may or may not have been intentional. Whatever the case, they're really slow about it.) This lethargy left me restless during much of the movie, but it works to great effect when Jones finally revs into action phase...

Any time a gun comes out on screen, watch it, because sparks are about to fly. The confrontation between Tony and Cole is a powerhouse of a cat & mouse sequence which almost makes the film worth seeing on its own. Jones also uses the mixed-race marriage of Josie and Tony to explore (on a very limited scale) some of the racial dynamics of their situation and of society in general.

The bottom line is that everyone in the film could have stood a shot of adrenaline, but by the time it's over, the thriller will have captured the minds of most of its audience. After all, patience is a virtue, right?

P.S. My biggest complaint -- while you find out who did it, you never really find out how. If any of my readers figure it out, please drop me a line and let me hear your theory.

Berry to Greene: Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead.



The Rich Man's Wife

Facts and Figures

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Friday 13th September 1996

Box Office Worldwide: $8.5M

Distributed by: Disney

Production compaines: Caravan Pictures, Hollywood Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 14%
Fresh: 2 Rotten: 12

IMDB: 5.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Jake Golden, as Josie Potenza, as Cole Wilson, as Detective Ron Lewis, as Detective Dan Fredricks, as Bill Adolphe, as Nora Golden, as Tony Potenza

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

Advertisement
The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.