Making the Grades
Every now and again we see movies with stupid crooks, dumb parents or dysfunctional families. But if there were an Academy Award for a cast of characters with the lowest average IQ, Obsessed would certainly take home the hardware.
The protagonist, Derek (Idris Elba), is introduced in the opening frames of the film as he and his wife Sharon (Beyoncé Knowles) pull up the For Sale sign on their new home in a Los Angeles suburb. Along with their young child, the happy family looks blissfully thrilled in their new nest.
At work later that same day, Derek shares an elevator ride with “The Blonde.” Lisa (Ali Larter) delightedly announces her position as the office temp, while daintily dropping papers around her stilettos. But before long, she’s sobbing in the lunchroom over a dumped boyfriend. When the company Christmas party comes, she throws herself at Derek in the men’s restroom. Then, two weeks later, she’s forcing herself into the front seat of his car and ripping her clothes off to show him her Victoria’s Secret collection.
“Of course,” as Bugs Bunny would say, “This means war.” Unfortunately, Derek isn’t as smart as that rascally rabbit. To his credit, he does firmly tell Lisa, through both verbal and physical actions, to leave him alone. And he in no way encourages her behavior. Yet for some reason he never mentions the sexually obsessed woman’s indecent proposals to his wife, the HR department, or anyone else.
Not surprisingly, this bombshell goes off when Lisa shows up at a company retreat, sneaks into Derek’s hotel room, and overdoses on a bottle of pills. When her unconscious and naked body is found in his bed (no nudity seen), the gig is up. Suddenly Derek has a lot of answering to do especially to his angry wife who tells him to pack his bags and leave.
The biggest question viewers will be muttering is “Why?” Why didn’t Derek tell someone? Did he really believe the problem would go away when she reassigned? Or when she moved to San Francisco? And after Sharon discovers Zombie Blonde has broken into their home and is sniffing her husband’s laundry, why doesn’t she make use of the shiny new panic button the couple had installed just days earlier? (I know, I know… if Sharon had called for help the screenwriters would have had to scrap the extended UFC-style catfight that makes up the final act…)
Parents with teens who are fans of Beyoncé and may be curious to see her performance, would do well to encourage them to save their money. While it is unlikely any actor could have done much with this script, the most that can be made out of this stalker tale is a lesson on how not to handle workplace sexual harassment.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Obsessed.
What steps could Derek have taken to minimize the damage done by Lisa? How are we often lured into thinking situations arent as serious as they truly are? What were the first warning signs that Lisa might be a problem?
In one scene in this film, Lisa is distress so Derek extends verbal kindness and sympathy toward her. What might have been a more appropriate way for him to handle this conversation? How have our worries about sexual impropriety in the workplace changed the way we deal with others? Do you feel these concerns are valid, or an over reaction?