This is the film that caused me to give up on Brian De Palma completely. He has disappointed me with half-good movies (Carlito's Way, The Untouchables, Raising Cain) for some time. I didn't think anything could be worse than "Wise Guys" but he certainly managed new lows with Femme Fatale.
I'm not one who thinks Rebecca Romijn-Stamos can't act. She does a pretty good job on her TV show and has turned in some nice guest performances. I think she's better at comedy though and while there are certainly ways to inject Films Noir with wry humor any attempts at doing so in Fatale failed miserably. And the huge flaws in Femme Fatale only highlight what shortcomings Romizjn-Stamos does have.
Some of the unbelievable developments in the film can be explained by the fact that the main body of the movie is a dream sequence like Romijn-Stamos being dropped from several stories through a glass ceiling and landing on a pile of cushiony insulation material that just happens to be there. But her just happening (at least I think it was coincidence. The film is very short on clarity) to obtain the new identity of a woman who is her exact double and ending up being found by friends or family (again unclear) and left alone in the woman's apartment is as hard to accept as Antonio Bandera's come-and-go accent. I never did figure out if he was playing an American or not.
Certainly the doppleganger bit could be an accepted premise on which the film could have been predicated. Instead it was a contrivance as phony and unacceptable as that handy pile of insulation.
There was one element that was the hardest to swallow in a film that was full of them. How is it that in a film that features a European leading man and was largely filmed in Europe with a lead actress who must have spent considerable time there during her modeling days was said actress allowed to very clearly call the beverage EX-presso?
I laughed almost as hard at that gaffe as I did when, in The Principle, Jim Belushi pronounced the title word as "prince-a-bul".
If anyone has ever wondered how a commercially successful director has gotten five "Razzie" nominations for "Worst Director" a viewing of Femme Fatale will explain all.
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