Oh, her life looks so good. Big house on a beautiful street, with a slightly nosy neighbor who’s really just looking out for her. Great job, a decision-maker and rising star in a major lobbyist firm. But, wait.
In this thriller written by Tyger Williams and directed by David M. Rosenthal, something has to shake up Leah’s best laid plans. So longtime boyfriend Dave, although so great with kids at parties, again does not abide with her ticking clock in that talk. Despite all that love, they go their separate ways. Lo and behold, though, a sweet-looking guy steps in at a bar to save her from an aggressive bore. She remembers him as the gent who not only let her take his cup of joe at a shop because she was months ago because she seemed in such a rush, but bought it, too.
She talks him into dinner.
So it begins, more than a third of this film’s 100 minutes in a sparsely attended Friday matinée in the Regal Cinemas theater in Syracuse’s mega shopping, dining and entertainment complex Destiny USA, doe-eyed Carter doing every dang thing right to win her over. He even gets hard-guy pops, played by always-good-to-see veteran Charles S. Dutton, on his side with hard-to-get baseball tickets.
Yes, beautiful actress Sanaa Lathan and mysteriously coiled actor Michael Ealy do seem to be building a chemistry here as Leah and Carter.
Then an awful 30-second episode changes the way she sees him. Forever. But not the way he looks at her.
Let the stalking begin. Physically. Cyber-world. Psychologically.
Morris Chestnut is rock solid as Dave, who re-enters her world in an attempt to right his wrong and get this stalker dude gone forever. Holt McCallany is pretty terrific as a sympathetic detective whose hands are tied by the law but who isn’t afraid to cross the friendship line with (real-)worldly advice.
Sure, the plot is predictable as the bad guy’s evil escalates. But Lathan’s resolve and transformation as Leah is something to behold.
And so I sat in the dark and wondered, with a shudder, what lines could I cross?
Do movies about stalkers get you more scared or more angry, and why? What would constitute a stranger’s offer as too nice to you, and why? Have you ever offered help and been turned down, and wondered why, and if so, what was the situation?