“You never should have brought her here.”
I know, I used two posters at the beginning, but Heigl and Dawson both look so good I couldn’t choose between them. They both deserve a shout out.
When I first saw the trailer for this film, I was honestly immediately disinterested. I thought the trailer was laughable, it didn’t look like something I wanted to watch, which is odd. I typically love a good movie like this, of course it all always goes right back to Fatal Attraction, but there have been some subsequent good movies come from it. The more I saw previews, the more interested I became, still, I thought I would watch from home when it was out on redbox. I instead went last night to see it, and I was honestly pleasantly surprised. Is it the best movie I’ve seen this year? No. Is it an original story? Not in the slightest. Did it keep me entertained? Definitely.
Rosario Dawson plays Julia Banks, a woman uprooting her life and moving to live with her fiance, and the man of her dreams, David. Katherine Heigl plays David’s damaged ex-wife Tessa. Julia makes the move and meets Tessa and her and David’s daughter, Lily. At first, Tessa seems nice. She welcomes Julia to the neighborhood and even shares a few kind words with her. Julia has a little trouble adjusting to her new life, as does Lily with having a new woman around. The first moments of tension happen when Julia, Tessa, and Lily share a meal together and Lily doesn’t like the food Julia made. Tessa gets up to fix Lily something else, and tells Julia she’ll get the hang of the parenting thing.
Some time passes, and everyone seems to be settling in just fine. Tessa seems comfortable enough with Julia being around, or at least good at pretending. Julia is getting used to being a future stepmother. We learn that Tessa and Lily don’t know about Julia and David’s engagement yet, and Julia thinks it’s time to tell them, just because it isn’t fair to keep them in the dark. At a function for David’s business, Tessa reads a text from Julia’s phone about how she will be the most beautiful bride. From this point, chaos ensues.
Tessa becomes more and more unstable, and Julia becomes more and more frustrated. The two start arguing more, before eventually calling a truce over Mexican food and margaritas. So realistic because that’s what every girl does with her girlfriends, or with someone they want to just talk with. It only gets worse from here. Julia thinks they’ve bonded at first, but starts to suspect strange occurrences are actually Tessa messing with her.
The one thing I really appreciated about this movie was the fact that Tessa wasn’t only out to get Julia because she was with her ex. She didn’t want Julia to have the life she was intended. It was never only about David. It was about the picture as a whole. Typically, it’s all over a man, and only a man. It had a story within a story, too. Julia has a hidden past, and a hidden ex husband. Tessa begins an online relationship with him posing as Julia in order to get back at Julia, hoping to ruin her and David’s relationship. Tessa knew the man was dangerous and still set Julia up to have an encounter with him. The ultimate girl fight at the end is just as good as every fight in these movies.
Katherine Heigl gave an excellent performance as the obsessive, unstable ex-wife and picture perfect mom. She was poised, cut-throat, and played the part of crazy exceptionally well. Almost too well. I wonder now if she’s really actually that crazy as a person. Roasrio Dawson also delivers an exceptional performance as Julia. She was sweet and kind, but swapped faces to be just as vindictive as Tessa when she needed to be. She stood up for herself and was an amazingly strong woman. Geoff Stults was a nice filler as David, although, we could have only had a film with Heigl and Dawson as far as I’m concerned. Cheryl Ladd was a nice cameo for Tessa’s mom, and she made it easy to see where Tessa got her crazy side from.
Overall, the movie is decent. It’s a story that has been done time and time again, yet still brings us all out to see it. I think it deserves more credit than the critics are giving it. The acting alone is enough to give it a higher rating in my book. It’s easy to see what’s coming, and you’ll be able to guess the end. I don’t know that I would spend the money at the theater to see it, but if this is your kind of movie, it’s worth it.
Rating: 5 out of 10