As a physically and emotionally scared woman, Julia Roberts devises a plan to leave her husband, Patrick Bergin. Pretending to hate water, unable to swim, Julia goes boating with her husband and a friend and 'accidentally' gets swept overboard. She leaves town, gets on a bus heading somewhere else, didn't matter, and ends up in Iowa. Mistake #1 - she dropped her wedding ring into the toilet and it didn't flush down, poor Julia.
After some time she has established a life for herself and met another man but you get flashes to that husband and know he is on the trail. Julia had told him her mother had died, when indeed she had just relocated her to another nursing home. Mistake #2 - she gets in contact with her mother and visits her, poor Julia.
Her husband tracks her to her present life and stalks her just enough so that she begins to feel his presence, but she has never seen him. Eventually he can't take it any longer, breaks in and attacks her once again. Julia now has a gun and knows how to use it, end of story, husband is dead. Mistake #3 - Patrick couldn't believe she would have the guts to do it, poor Patrick.
Flaws in the movie: just how convenient was it the husband ran into someone that had a boat just when she had finished her swimming lessons; just how much money did she have socked away so that she could get that house (with no references by the way); were we really supposed to believe she was a man when she went to visit her mother, Julia could NEVER look like a man; finding her was just a little too easy.
Good points in the movie: gives a positive view to abused women that they CAN get away; Julia's portrayal of this woman was very believable; Patrick's character was a real ... and he looked and played the part very well; never doubt the power of a woman scorned!
I really liked this movie, was a little afraid of all the characters in the movie including Julia, learned a lot from the movie and would recommend it to everyone - men and women alike. There were several scenes with Patrick where he actually looks insane. This lifestyle happens everyday and can happen to anyone. We are unaware of what goes on when couples are alone only of their public appearances. With that in mind, this makes this movie perhaps one of the scariest ever made.
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Susi Dawson (SusiDee34)
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Laura (Julia Roberts) and Martin (Patrick Bergen) have the appearance of a perfect marriage, but shortly into the film it becomes apparent that Laura's presence in their opulent home and decadent lifestyle is as decoration and servant. Moreover, Martin is obsessive, anally clean and ruling tyrannically over his wife; she lives in fear of the brutal punishment that descends when the canned goods are imperfectly lined up or the towels hang unevenly. Through an elaborate plan, Laura stages her own death and escapes to start anew in a small Iowa town, where her next door neighbor's efforts at friendship and burgeoning love slowly chip away at her armor of distrust. But just as Laura begins to relax into her new existence, her past resurfaces in a chilling climax.