Rich Man's Wife, The
R
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -3

Billed as a mystery-thriller, THE RICH MAN'S WIFE will thrill only those who don't want answers or who don't worry about details. It's about Josie (Halle Berry), the beautiful young wife of extremely wealthy Tony (Christopher McDonald). He is a womanizing drunk, but Josie wants to make the marriage work and talks him into going with her to a remote mountain cabin. Tony is called back to the city, leaving Josie alone at the cabin. In a nearby tavern she meets Cole (Peter Greene), and she eventually confides in him her marital woes. Actually, Cole is a psychopathic killer who later savagely murders Josie's husband, terrorizes her and then blackmails her, saying she told him she wanted Tony dead. The police are closing in on Josie as their prime suspect when Nora (Clea Lewis), the ex-wife of Josie's former lover, volunteers some surprising news. Nora is a kooky, funny lady who provides the bright spot in this ridiculously contrived mystery. THE RICH MAN'S WIFE has no convincing characters and will be a major disappointment to thriller fans.

Tony's brutal murder includes point blank shots to his face, vicious kicking and beating followed by more close range shots. We wondered along with the killer why Tony took so long to die in this prolonged and gratuitous scene. Cole's obsession with Josie leads to an attempted rape, terrifying stalking and more vicious killings. Josie becomes aggressive with a gun as she defends herself against Cole. Cole takes her on a petrifying night ride on a treacherous mountain road with no headlights. Another time, she runs across a heavily traveled freeway, dodging speeding vehicles. Besides the excessive violence, viewers are subjected to incessant foul language, including 29 obscenities and 12 regular profanities. The film has no sex scenes, although a few suggestive remarks referring to sex are made. This is a no-win movie that lacks any positive message or admirable roles, while it's stuffed with gratuitous foul language and gory violence.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Buena Vista Distribution (Hollywood Pictures), 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521

Summary
Crude Language: Many (11) times - Mild 2, Moderate 9
Obscene Language: Many (29) times - S-word 8, f-word 17, other 4
Profanity: Many (13) times - Regular 12 (C 2, GD 9, God's sake 1), Exclamatory 1
Violence: Many times - Moderate and Severe (gory murder with gunshots, kicking and beating; many gun threats and shootings; man shot crashes through window; man struck with machete; woman chased across busy freeway; terrifying reckless drive; attempted rape)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None; Near nudity - few times (low-cut dresses)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few crude references to sex
Drug Abuse: Several times (alcoholic man, drinking in bars, smoking)
Other:
Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)