I saw Obsessed this weekend, the new movie executive produced by Magic Johnson and featuring Beyonce Knowles, Jerry O’Connell, some people I recognized, and I few people I never heard of. It wasn’t my choice but it wasn’t the worst movie I’ve seen.
That said, I did have some problems with it: I thought it was racist and demeaning to both white women and black men.
Now I am not going to go as far as this blog, but let me just say what bothered me.
First the plot from imdb.com:
A successful asset manager, who has just received a huge promotion, is blissfully happy in his career and in his marriage. But a temp worker starts stalking him, all the things he’s worked so hard for are placed in jeopardy.
Ok, first of all, if I remember right, the “successful asset manager” is the only black man in the whole movie. He had no black friends, no family, he was it. Although professionally successful, I took him as a weak character who did not act to remove a problem (the “temp worker”) until it got out of hand. But of course, had he solved the problem from the get-go, there wouldn’t have been a movie.
And why weren’t there any other successful black men in the movie? Was he the only black man hired by that company?
Second, the antagonist – the temp. What dawned on me near the middle of the movie was that the only blond-haired white person in the movie was a seductive, over-sexed psychotic. That was a little weird. Imagine if the psycho bitch was the only Asian-American, Indian-American, or a Hispanic-American woman in the movie.
(Funny side note: the temp’s first scene with the “successful asset manager” was nearly identical to the scene in Undercover Brother when Anton Jackson meets “White She-Devil”. From the “I’m new in town” line to the “accidental” dropping of her paperwork. I hate to say it, but I nearly busted out laughing.)
Unlike the blog I linked to, I don’t blame Beyonce Knowles. She was just played the role given to her. I do blame the people in charge (like Magic Johnson) for allowing the characters to fall into negative stereotypes. All it would have taken was one other blond-haired woman and another black man – someone to allow the viewers to have a different point of reference.
(P.S. Here is another review that singles out Magic Johnson but absolutely trashes the movie – jeez, I didn’t think it was that bad.)