Today’s film sealed my notion of never having a roommate. You never know them truly and why risk the chance that they could be CRAZY? 1992’s “Single White Female” stars Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh in a film that’s not only thrilling, but is horrific as well. Directed by Barbet Schroeder (“Reversal of Fortune”), the film illustrates the major importance of background checks.
Allie Jones (Fonda), a software developer, breaks up with her boyfriend, after he is found cheating, and seeks out a new roommate to cover the cost of her boyfriend’s departure. After the search, Hedy Carlson (Leigh) is selected. For a while, the two women have a seemingly normal friendship. The watch movies together, share clothes, and do other typical roommate activities. However, the friendship takes a turn for the worse as Hedy develops an unhealthy obsession with Allie. Facing possible eviction, Allie deals with a number of events that progress in their oddity. For example, when Allie reconciles with her boyfriend, the dog that Hedy buys for the house suffers the ultimate consequence. In another example, Hedy changes her hairstyle that mirrors Allie’s. As the movie progresses, so does Hedy’s mentally unfit activities, including a male rape and several murders. Pretty soon, Allie figures out the truth about Hedy and now fears for her life. There’s a climactic showdown where Hedy’s true colors show.
Not only was my resolve to never have a roommate strengthen, but I learned other things thanks to “Single White Female”. Did you know that a good pair of stilettos can be the perfect murder weapon? Also, that it is best to double check the person you are having sex with of any kind. Trust me these learned principles are explained further in the movie.
The film has a great cast, especially Leigh’s performance, which spotlights her stellar acting ability. However, while Fonda brings the “pretty”, she is often wooden in several scenes. But, at least her performance doesn’t kill the pace of the movie – thanks to a plot not fully fleshed out until the movie’s premiere. Who hasn’t had a crazy, or rather odd, roommate that didn’t invoke some apprehension? I didn’t. I learned to avoid the issue all together when I watched this film as life too often imitates art. While Hedy’s craziness is explained and you can empathize a bit with her, she’s still a awesome villain. Til this day, Jennifer Jason Leigh freaks me out. That’s the marker of a great performance. She wears crazy, like the perfect Versace dress, spectacularly. By the time, the end appears, you root for Allie’s hand in Hedy’s demise.
I still wish we could see more female villains like this. I’m rather bored of the Mary Sue and Damsel in Distress tropes we so often see.
Thus, I give this film a solid 7.5 out of 10 .
Fun Fact About “Single White Female”: Jennifer Jason Leigh won a MTV Movie Award for Best Villain and it was well-earned.