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Obsessed

**
2009

‘…for all its slickness, the view of women expressed here is hardly positive or progressive…’

Yikes! Courting controversy, I guess, but am I the only one not in a permanent state of thrall to Beyonce, one of a number of on-going pretenders to the title of Queen of Pop but now in a different light after swiftly ditching her LGBTQ+ credentials to play a $24 million one hour private set in gay-rights-un-friendly resort Dubai? Sure, signature song Crazy in Love is a stone cold belter for weddings and parties, but not exactly an original song, and although she’s a still a household name, her pop culture achievements in cinema are somewhat less than monumental. Her film career is a stop-start affair, with her breakout role as Foxxy Cleopatra in the Austin Powers in Goldmember movie, then playing opposite Steve Martin in the Pink Panther reboot; hardly jewels in anyone’s crown.

The appropriately named Steve Shill’s 2009 Fatal Attraction knock-off Obsessed is probably the biggest solo cinematic success for the Destiny’s Child star, and for all its slickness, the view of women expressed here is hardly positive or progressive. Beyonce plays everyday LA housewife Sharon Charles, happily married to businessman Derek (Idris Elba) until he pops up on the radar of attractive, sexually active woman Lisa Sheridan (Ali Larter). In films like this, sexually active women = trouble, and despite Derek’s rebuffs of her advances, Lisa quickly forces herself into Sharon’s family life, and things come to a head in a wild catfight between the two women…

Obsessed is a slick, sick movie, slipping in bangers like Estelle’s American Boy on the soundtrack to lighten the mood, but generally falling into line with the usual misogynist attitudes that are familiar from any other ‘women-are-the-devil’ potboilers. It’s predictable, regressive, forgettable stuff, but the painfully off-hand treatment of the gay characters reflects a general reinforcement of negative stereotypes throughout the film.

Like the rather more streetwise Lizzo, Beyonce fell foul of the culture wars last year when they both, inexplicably, felt that the derogatory term ‘spaz’, should be part of the lyrics that they offer up as role models. Watching this mean-spirited exploitation film makes you glad that Beyonce’s A Star Is Born movie, originally set to be directed by Clint Eastwood, never happened, particularly given how well the Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga version turned out. Maybe Beyonce will re-discover her mojo and make it big in the movies one day, but dubious enterprises like Obsessed suggest that rather than putting a ring on it, she’s be better off putting a sock in it. Like the similarly sullied ‘anyone’s for a buck’ ambassador David Beckham, she’s someone who never shuts up about their work for good causes until someone offers her a wheelbarrow of used notes and then her role-model credentials are suddenly yesterday’s news…

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  1. I literally thought I saw this but then I realized I was thinking of “Unforgettable” with Katherine Heigel and Rosario Dawson. I trust this one is as forgettable as that one.

  2. It must be exhausting keeping track of all these stars and what they get up to. Do you keep a spreadsheet or just have a word doc for each one? Enquiring minds want to know!

    • No, in this case, I wrote this review a while ago, but didn’t feel any great urgency to get it out and get into potential conflict. Whatever you think of her music or political stances, I think we can agree that hypocricy should be called out. But no, I don’t get daily updates on what Beyonce is up to, and I suspect she feels the same about me.

      • I bet she has subscribed to your blog just to see what you might say about her. That’s why “I” subscribe after all 😉

        For disclosure’s sake and transparency, why do YOU subscribe to your blog?

        • To keep up to date with the latest trends and intellectual thought; I like to be up to date with what young people like myself are saying.

          So are you saying that you and Beyonce are similar? I only really deal with you, so the comparison is slightly lost on me…

          • Yeah, you young hipsters are a tough group to keep in sight. Always running after the next big thing. I swear, first it was betamax, then hd-dvd, now this streaming stuff, next thing you know we’ll be getting microwave dinosaurs to narrate the movies implanted in our brains.

            We are very similar. Sometimes people mistake us for twins. but my beard/goatee usually helps them differentiate us. Plus, not to brag, I AM the good looking one. I mean, look, I get to blog while she has to do that song and dance routine of hers. I say that tells who was really successful in the end.

            • I think a lot of her problems come from insecurity that you are So successful, and she had to grovel with gigs overseas. But nest not to rub it in…

              I do get microwave dinosaurs to narrate the movies inside my brains, I thought everyone did these days. I know Alex does for a FACT!

              • We went to twins therapy for that very reason. I excelled at taking the therapists advice, which obviously set off Beyonce. Poor thing, I do pity her.

                See, trying to keep up with you kids is impossible! And if Alex is doing it, then I know EVERY BODY is.

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