The Perfect Wife

2000, Movie, NR, 90 mins

Review

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The simplistic, made-for-TV revenge thriller is populated with such two-dimensional victims that you can hardly help but root for the psychopath. Dr. Robert Steward (Perry King) spots a car crash on the freeway and saves an inebriated driver, Felicia Laurel (Michele Greene), but can't rescue her victim, Ruben Tyman (Dave Cole). Ruben's sister Leah (Shannon Sturges) vows to avenge his death, and a year later she's changed her first name to Lisa and married the unsuspecting Dr. Steward. Seward's housekeeper, Greta (Luisa Leschin), senses that there's something not right about her employers new wife, but the wool is pulled firmly over his eyes, and Greta can't convince his ex-wife, Helen (Lesley Anne-Down), either. Lisa kills Robert's office manager and offers to take her place, giving her access to the doctor's files. She gets rid of the suspicious Greta by planting jewelry in the maid's room and firing her. Robert shares his medical practice with his brother, Brad (William R. Moses), who's developed a substance abuse problem that worries Lisa — she's afraid of the attention a lawsuit could bring. Lisa forges Brad's name on a prescription that kills a patient (Michael Fairman), then eliminates the suicidal Brad by faking his death from an accidental overdose. Unfortunately, just as Felicia shows up with her own nasty agenda — blackmail — Helen begins thinking Greta may have been on to something after all; the body count in Lisa's vicinity seems too high to be coincidental. Although it doesn't seem to have been intended as a black comedy, this film plays better as a campy, mad-as-a-hatter spoof than a serious thriller. Misguided protagonist Leah/Lisa is so delusional — any everyone around her is so clueless — that her schemes seem almost comically nasty. leave a comment --Robert Pardi

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