Broken Vows DVD Review
In 1987, the world got its first taste of the craziness of what having an affair can do when Glenn Close made Michael Douglas's life a living hell after he had a one-night stand with her in Fatal Attraction. She stalked him, harassed his family and, ultimately, tried to kill him after boiling the family pet (poor rabbit).
Almost 30 years later, another cautionary tale has made its way to DVD and Digital called Broken Vows. This time around, it's a female bride, Tara (Jaimie Alexander; Blind spot), who had a steamy one night stand with a hot male bartender named Patrick (Wes Bently; American Horror Story: Hotel) while on her bachelorette party weekend in New Orleans. Unfortunately for Tara, she picked the wrong guy, as Patrick turns out to be a psychopath.
That is where the fun begins. Patrick shows up at Tara's house (he has her phone when she accidently left it in a rush to leave his place the morning after) professing his love. In an effort to appease Patrick and get him out of her house before her fiancé, Michael (Cam Gigandet; Burlesque), shows up, Tara agrees to meet him the next day at a café; however, when she doesn't show up, Patrick unravels all her wedding plans and eventually, even far worse than that, more than one person turns up dead.
While Fatal Attraction had A list stars, a strong plot and an excellent director in Adrian Lyne (Indecent Proposal), Broken Vows misses the mark on most of it. Alexander is the strongest of the leads and I may be a bit biased because I really like her work in general, but I thought she did a good job in this film. Bently has a face for psychotic killing, so he was fairly well cast, but the two of them have no chemistry at all. The seduction scenes, first in the bar he works at and then later at his apartment, are painful to watch. Gigandet adds nothing to the threesome either.
First time feature film director Brams Coppens tries to be "artistic" (i.e., when he films the characters riding the elevator up sideways) but it simply doesn't work. His fast cuts are choppy and distracting and don't add any suspense to the movie. There are some moments towards the end of the film that were suspenseful enough in order to keep my attention but they don't come until over an hour in.
The DVD quality is what you would expect and the shots of New Orleans made me long for a road trip to visit the crescent city once again. The audio mix was pretty good too, since I didn't have to constantly turn the volume up and down every time there was dialog, as opposed to music on screen.
As psychological thrillers go, Broken Vows was great, but had a few bright spots in an otherwise lackluster movie. However, if you plan to rework an already used and previously successful plot idea, you better make it great. Unfortunately, Broken Vows isn't great.
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MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 91 minutes
Distributed By: Lionsgate
About Allison Skornick-Rose
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