SINGLE WHITE FEMALE
As a thriller, Single White Female is okay, although is played far too heavily by the numbers to ever fully engage. Barbet Schroeder, a director who has made acclaimed films like Barfly (1987), Reversal of Fortune (1990), Kiss of Death (1995) and Our Lady of Assassins (2000), telegraphs most of his shocks well in advance the dog that will receive a tragic end, the obvious hints about the iron grille needing to be repaired, the voices that can be heard through the vent in the apartment. The film has its share of striking moments, like when Jennifer Jason Leigh turns up with her hair done just like Bridget Fondas, which briefly turns the film into a weird double identity thriller culminating in the startling scene where Leigh performs oral sex on Bridget Fondas boyfriend, he thinking it is her. Equally, there are often moments when the film is in imminent danger of becoming risible the murder by stiletto heel in the head is one scene that belongs more in a cartoony splatter film than a thriller like this. Barbet Schroeder certainly makes good use of the cavernous Victorian apartment set.
One has never been particularly enthused about Bridget Fonda as an actress she is far too cold and distant. In fact, when Jennifer Jason Leigh gets her hair cut, she makes a more interesting Fonda than Fonda herself does. Jennifer Jason Leigh is not too bad her dangerous flips of personality attain some menace, although all the twitchy, nervous acting does become a little much by the end.
Barbet Schroeder later returned to the psycho-thriller genre with the forensic psychology thriller Murder By Numbers (2002).
Single White Female 2: The Psycho (2005) was a sequel with Kirsten Miller and Brooke Burns in the equivalent of the Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh roles respectively.