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on July 1, 2004
"The Rich Man's Wife" has potential, it really does, but it turns out to be too much like the plot of something you'd watch on LIFETIME (a network that claims to be good for women, but continually features tortured females running from bad men.) How many times can you tell the same cliched story before it bores you to tears? The pluses in this film are Halle Berry, Clea Lewis and the cinematography. There are too many cons to list here.

The "big" plot twist (and this was right after THE USUAL SUSPECTS and a few years before plot twists became all the rage) is ludicrous after it follows ninety minutes of a flashback that is nothing more than mixed-up foreshadowing. No matter what context you place the "this is what happened" in, it still does not connect well with the ending. The ending appears to have been slapped on at the last minute. "Hey," the writers must have thought, "let's throw in a completely misplaced plot twist." Unlike MULHOLLAND DRIVE (a wonderfully complex film), the fact that this film does not make sense is due to poor writing, NOT a great abstract mind as in the case of David Lynch.

In reference to a previous reviewer who seemed disturbed that a black man (who was unjustly accused of the murder) rightfully sought justice: this aspect of the film was one of the few times it broke tradition and tried to become a meaningful film. Racial profiling, unfortunately, is something that still happens in a police department and Detective Lewis was more than justified in pointing out his colleague's racist tendencies.

Every time the film started to go somewhere that could have made it a strong film (exploring the sometimes volatile relationship of marriage, the horrible impact of racism on someone's life, infidelity) it suddenly turned back into a cheesy Lifetime movie.
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This forgettable film can be summed up in four lines:

When marrying for money
Expensive clothes and cars
It's better not to bare your heart
To creepy guys in bars

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Why you should watch this movie:
1. Halle Berry
2. A very young Clive Owen

Why you should skip this movie:
1. Horrible plot
2. Holes in aforementioned horrible plot
3. You need ANOTHER reason?

Rated: 2.5 stars

Amanda Richards, November 5, 2007
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on August 11, 2002
I suspect that a lot of people are missing the point of this movie. The key to understanding this movie is to realize that the movie begins with the rich man's wife being taken to the police station for questioning. It ends when she walks out of the police station and drives away with her friend. We need to keep in mind that 99% of the plot of the movie is simply the STORY she told the cops in between those two events.
Now, we KNOW her story to the cops has a couple of holes in it for at least two reasons: 1) the $30K blackmail money was never found, which caused all the cops to suspect the story in the first place, and 2) she herself negated much of the story in the final scene while conversing with her friend in the car.
That's as much as I'm going to say about the plot of the movie, because I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it. If you did see it and thought it didn't make a lot of sense, go back and give it another look, keeping in mind what was said above.
What is amazing to me is that this movie is basically a remake of "The Usual Suspects" which came out a year earlier. In fact, it is such a laydown duplication of plot it's a wonder that it is not a copyright violation. Audiences and critics responded very favorably to the plot trick in "The Usual Suspects", but dis'd it in "The Rich Man's" wife. Strange. Perhaps many simply did not understand it, or perhaps it's novelty wore off very quickly after "The Usual Suspects" first aired.
At any rate, while this film certainly is not an academy award winner, it was well made and entertaining. And, Halle Berry is certainly a treat to watch on screen. Check it out.
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Put together a young and beautiful wife, an older, very rich husband, the obnoxious restaurant owner who is enjoying the cheating young wife, and one completely psychotic killer. Mix all that together and you have a highly entertaining suspense film.

The killer murders the rich husband then blackmails the young wife - the police will never believe you, he says. I'll tell them you hired me to kill your husband. He tells her she needs to pay him off or she goes to jail. It certainly seems like an airtight plan. You find yourself thinking, how is she going to get herself out of this one? Then the movie takes you through hair-raising suspense until it's conclusion.

The acting in this movie wasn't all that great and the ending was fairly predictable, even with the twist at the end. Still, this was an enjoyable movie. Rent, don't buy.
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on June 2, 2001
This movie received bad reviews everywhere and did very little in the box office. But it is a very entertaining movie about a rich man's wife (Halle Berry) who is accused killing her husband (Christopher McDonald). The plot twist is great. Ok, it probably is illogical and the plot is full of holes but it is a solid thriller and the lovely Halle Berry is great in the role. I think this is the only major motion picture that she got a top billing (She did another HBO movie that got a top billing). The DVD itself is Ok. No Dolby 5.1 but the Dolby Surround sound is not bad. The picture quality is good. Fans of Halle Berry will have to add this DVD to their collection. Others need to at least rent it. It is pure entertainment.
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on August 9, 2011
I saw this movie years ago. It was when Halle Berry first started making her appearances as a new and upcoming actress. I liked the movie then, and I like it now. I was somewhat shocked that I found it on Amazon, so I decided to purchase it and add it to my collection of my favorite movies.

The movie is filled with suspense, thriller, blackmail and mystery. An unhappy wife who makes the mistake of befriending and telling a complete stranger she wishes her husband were dead, only to live the reality of her wish with regrets.

I haven't seen a Halle Berry movie yet I have been disappointed in. She's an outstanding actress who can adapt to any role she is given.
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on January 30, 2004
The Rich Man's wife is a poor excuse for a thriller. Dull, predictable and bland. The only thing good about this film was the cinematography and the way Halle Berry looked in those designer clothes. I guess the writer/director was too busy with the visuals to work on those more important pieces the film like the story and the acting. I hope by reading this review you'll avoid wasting the 90 or so minutes of your life this movie will steal from you.
In the movie Halle Berry plays Josie, the Barbie doll wife of a powerful TV executive being accused of the murder of her husband. The story starts out in a police station where Josie a rich trophy wife is eager to tell her story without a lawyer present. Their marriage is on the rocks. He's turned to drinking and she's turned to someone else. (Clive Owen) She wants a divorce but will lose everything because she signed a pre nuptial agreement. In a desperate attempt to save their marriage, guess what-they go on a vacation in the mountains. When he decides to leave early to do some business, Josie is left to fend for herself and guess what-She heads to a bar where guess what- there's a grimy looking weirdo named Cole to greet her there. She tells the weirdo all about her problems and his proposal IN A BAR FULL OF PEOPLE is-guess what-Let's kill your husband. Soon afterward Cole then takes her on a terrifying drive and menaces her in her house. She picks up a gun and her scurries away. End of act one. Act II opens with the two of them having a birthday party. Richman decides to go to an ATM to pick up some cash guess what in his car the mysterious weirdo is there to "carjack him" There's a big struggle in the rain but he eventually kills him-WITH THE SAME GUN FROM THE CABIN WITH HIS BARE HANDS. Next he breaks into Josie's house WEARING GLOVES to tell her what he's done. Shouldn't he have been WEARING the GLOVES when he was doing the killing? It would help with that pesky GUNPOWDER RESIDUE left on his hands from FIRING the gun. They say Josie was a high school dropout; but I think this character dropped out of elementary school; she actually believes his silly argument about being an accomplice. I guess they had another 60 or so more minutes of time to waste. The police show up and we get some idiotic lines about racial profiling and black people being brought in for questioning. From there we learn that the weirdo was actually a hired hitman who was hired by Josie's lover to kill her so she could get the money and they could be together. I know you're shaking your head reading this because I was too. Weirdo now has upped the ante and is blackmailing the lover and Josie. In another ridiculous plot twist Josie learns that the rich man left no will and the money will be tied up for a year in probate court, so she will have no money. THIS IS THE SAME MAN WHO WAS SMART ENOUGH TO HAVE A LAWYER MAKE UP A PRE NUP CONTRACT, BUT NOT SMART ENOUGH TO HAVE A WILL. But the story moves on in spite of this plot hole. At the funeral we see the ex-wife of the lover and the police taking pictures. They get a shot of the lover and Cole who is conveniently there to threaten Josie and the lover once more. She's so scared of him in public, but all of a sudden gets courageous during a late night meeting to give him the money she got from hocking her jewelry. She takes a revolver with her and threatens to kill him. He takes the SIX SHOT REVOLVER from her and fires off SEVEN shots as she escapes back to her car. Josie learns that Cole and her lover were part of the plot to kill her husband. End of Act II.Act III opens up with the lover telling her that Cole has broken into the house. Josie calls the police but the call is convienetly disconnected when the lights go out. Cole then shoots lover in the head and he falls through the window setting off the alarm Josie scurries about the house to escape but when confronted by the weirdo she fights him and kills him. She's arrested and since the men had all the evidence she's let go In the final plot twist we find out the ex wife and Josie planned to kill all the men all along and have pulled the wool over the cops eyes as they drive off into the sunset. What are they happy about? These two dummies are BROKE NOW. The 30 grand fell in a plothole. As golddiggers they'd actually be better off if they both stayed married to their husbands. At least they could have a STEADY INCOME and a LOT OF STUFF.
Halle Berry struggles in the role of Josie, due to the weak direction. Her uninspired performance is lethargic and she has no chemistry with the Owen or any of the other actors. Instead of feeling scared with her or disappointed with her character's bad marriage I found myself laughing at these scenes because the director did not prepare the actors with the right motivation for each shot. And the actors who play the cops are so lethargic they just phone it in. Her script is awful too; the plot is predictable and the dialogue is cartoonish. If you're a Halle fan in need of a Halle fix rent it. If not pick Up Bryan Singer's Usual Suspects or Charade With Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant.
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on August 13, 2013
Berry was not her best, her heart just wasn't in it. To top that, the husband didn't seem powerful enough to have that much money. But he acted nasty, vengeful, was a great bully. And the "killer" appeared out of no where. Happened to be at a bar she frequented.
I knew something was fishy. The rest of the movie is very predictable. No surprises.
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A psychological thriller with a really good twist you never see coming is worth the price of admission...or a rental! This one kind of looks like a hot mess...but you think you know what is going on.....until you find out that you didn't know at all. Halle Berry is absolutely believable as Josie, a woman married to Tony (Christopher McDonald) who is a rich but mean alcoholic. Josie is having an affair with the very handsome Jake (played by the very handsome Clive Owen). She and Tony go to the mountains for a vacation, but Tony has to hurry back to the city to close a business deal leaving Josie alone and lonely. While driving back to her mountain cabin after a drink at a local bar, her Jeep breaks down and along comes Cole to offer her a ride home in the freezing rain. That's where things get complex, and I am not going to ruin it all for you. This movie is DEFINITELY worth a rental.
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on September 18, 2009
The Rich Man's Wife is a gripping thriller played by actors fitting for the roles that they potray. Halle Berry is at her best with good looks and innocence until the end. The scenes mirror true life, accomplished by the acting ability of the cast. The park scene where the husband is brutally murdered is done in such a way that it is not like TV or on the screen. Too brutal to be TV. The directors knew what they were doing here. Halle Berry's best features are highlighted at the right times. The plot consists of twists that keep you entertained throughout.
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