Movie Review by Neils Hesse
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Bill Campbell, Tessa Allen, Juliette Lewis
Director: Michael Apted
Slim (Jennifer Lopez) works in a diner as a waitress; she is your basic, hard-working American woman. After an apparent act of valour in her favour by a handsome, rugged customer called Mitch (Billy Campbell) and with encouragement from her friend Ginny (Juliette Lewis) she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to a baby girl. Everything turns out alright for a while.
However when Slim discovers that her husband is cheating on her, she confronts him. Unfortunately his response is very violent, initiating a trend of physical abuse. She is eventually forced to run away with her daughter and try to start a new life away from Mitch. With some help from her dad, Jupiter (Fred Ward), she manages to live peacefully for a while but then Mitch tracks her down through Robbie (Noah Wyle), a policeman friend of his, forcing her to go on the run again.
After sending her daughter off on a holiday, Slim takes her Dad’s advice and learns how to ‘really’ defend herself and then with her newly acquired skills she turns the tables on her husband by going after him on his territory. Slim must now decide to either end this suffering once and for all the old-fashioned way or to abide by the law.
While Jennifer Lopez gives a fair performance as the abused, yet spirited wife and mother, Billy Campbell gives a stronger, more convincing portrayal as the man who has his way by any means necessary. From the supporting cast, Fred Ward (as the wealthy father offering support and advice to his abused daughter) and Noah Wyle (as the slimy police officer) give worthy performances in their respective roles.
Unfortunately the movie seems to have been let down by a poor script. The subject the movie covers is a fairly popular topic, so although Michael Apted’s direction is ok, the story lacks resonance and needed to be more realistic to make more of an impact. Also the soundtrack could have been handled better so all in all the movie is not as emotionally jarring for the audience as it should have been.