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Rich Man's Wife
     

The Rich Man's Wife

3.0 1
Director: Amy Jones, Halle Berry, Christopher McDonald, Clive Owen

Cast: Amy Jones, Halle Berry, Christopher McDonald, Clive Owen

 

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This is a domestic thriller in the Hitchcock mode with a legalistic twist involving that modern invention, the prenuptial agreement. Halle Berry stars as Josie Potenza, the unhappy wife of alcoholic, philandering executive Tony Potenza (Christopher McDonald). Josie is unfaithful too, but she wants to salvage her marriage and proposes an alcohol-free vacation in a

Overview

This is a domestic thriller in the Hitchcock mode with a legalistic twist involving that modern invention, the prenuptial agreement. Halle Berry stars as Josie Potenza, the unhappy wife of alcoholic, philandering executive Tony Potenza (Christopher McDonald). Josie is unfaithful too, but she wants to salvage her marriage and proposes an alcohol-free vacation in a remote backwoods location. Tony agrees, but soon after they arrive, he's called back to work. Angry and lonely, Josie goes to a nearby bar, where she meets sympathetic Cole Wilson (Peter Greene), who's actually a psychotic ex-con. After hearing Josie's tale of marital woe, Cole proposes that he kill Tony. Appalled, Josie refuses, but soon Tony is murdered in a carjacking, leaving Josie the possible inheritor of millions. A prenuptial agreement that would've left her penniless in a divorce puts the LAPD on Josie's scent, while Wilson blackmails her and both her lover Jake (Clive Owen) and his cuckolded wife Nora (Clea Lewis) scheme to profit from Josie's loss. Writer-director Amy Holden Jones also wrote the screenplays for Mystic Pizza (1987) and Indecent Proposal (1993).

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Told as one extended flashback, The Rich Man's Wife concerns Josie Potenza (Halle Berry), a gorgeous young woman unhappily wed to an alcoholic multimillionaire named Tony (Christopher MacDonald). Fleeing from a depressing romantic getaway with her spouse, Josie crosses paths with a drifter named Cole Wilson (Peter Greene), who presents himself as an ally and emotional support to the confused wife. In truth, however, Cole is a psychotic male predator. He swiftly does away with Tony and then brutalizes the young widow and blackmails her extramarital lover (Clive Owen); soon, it looks as though Josie may be indicted for her husband's homicide. To reveal more would be unfair, but the film's pedigree is significant: it was written and directed by Amy Holden Jones, a feminist also responsible for The Slumber Party Massacre in 1982. As in that earlier picture (albeit on a far more subtle level), Jones uses Wife to deliver a wry commentary on the chauvinistic conventions of traditional movie thrillers and how readily we accept them. At one point, when Cole is terrorizing Josie, Jones even places pseudo-slasher music on the soundtrack. Only in the final scene does the movie's overarching message become clear; Jones turns the tables and we realize that the joke is on us for the distorted gender bias that we've instinctively swallowed. For that reason, the widespread attacks on this movie as empty-headed and exploitative seem way off-target. The movie as a whole doesn't quite come together - the twist ending introduces more questions than answers - but it's still an admirable and genuinely interesting picture for what it attempts.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/04/1997
UPC:
0786936020779
Original Release:
1996
Rating:
R
Source:
Walt Disney Video

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Halle Berry Josie Potenza
Christopher McDonald Tony Potenza
Clive Owen Jake Golden
Peter Greene Cole Wilson
Clea Lewis Nora Golden
Charles Hallahan Dan Fredricks
Frankie R. Faison Ron Lewis
Alexandra Hedison Party Guest

Technical Credits
Amy Jones Director,Screenwriter
Bill Arnold Art Director
Roger Birnbaum Producer
Wendy Greene Bricmont Editor
John Frizzell Songwriter
James Newton Howard Songwriter
Colleen Kelsall Costumes/Costume Designer
Nancy Klopper Casting
Ed Novick Sound/Sound Designer
Jennifer Ogden Executive Producer
Jeannine Oppewall Production Designer
Julie Bergman Sender Producer
Haskell Wexler Cinematographer
John R. Woodward Asst. Director

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The Rich Man's Wife 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Beauty_Is_My_Name More than 1 year ago
Halle Berry's performance in this movie was very good. Like most of her roles, I thought I had the movie pegged after the first 30 minutes of watching, but sure enough, the ending twist completely caught me off guard. As a woman, I couldn't help be say 'you go girl' at the end!