Single White Female (1992)

single white female poster 1992 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Fun and quick thriller

Just a few steps above a movie-of-the-week thriller

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Single White Female

Studio:  Columbia Pictures

Genre(s):  Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):  August 14, 1992

MPAA Rating:  R

single white female bridget fonda steven weber

Seems like all the guys I know are jerks…thankfully you’re not one of them

Allie Jones (Bridget Fonda) has a perfect life in New York City.  She’s an up-and-coming computer systems designer and she’s got a fiancé named Sam Rawson (Steven Weber).  When Allie is forced to call off the marriage, she puts an ad out for a roommate, and she gets Hedy Carlson (Jennifer Jason Leigh).  Hedy is quiet and reserved and seems like the perfect fit but looks can be deceiving…this single white female could be Allie’s best friend or her worst enemy.

Directed by Barbet Schroeder, Single White Female is a psychological thriller.  The movie is an adaptation of the 1990 John Lutz novel SWF Seeks Same.  It was released to mixed to positive reviews and had a strong box office return.

I saw Single White Female at a packed-house preview showing…and the crowd seemed to love it.  It is one of those films like Fatal Attraction or The Hand that Rocks the Cradle that balances between horror and thriller and pushes the genre.

single white female allie hedy jennifer jason leigh bridget fonda

Wacky games that roommates play

The story is pretty basic, but it makes the most of it.  Even without a trailer or a title you can see where the movie is going.  Allie doesn’t see a lot of the red flags with Hedy, and she gets more embedded than seems realistic before Allie starts to question her motivation (or the fact that she doesn’t seem to have much of a past.  The movie doesn’t paint a great picture of the men in Allie’s life, but Hedy is far more dangerous…but she’s also clinically unwell.

Bridget Fonda was the young and up-and-coming star, but she did fizzle not long after this film.  Jennifer Jason Leigh on the other hand was transitioning to more adult roles (ironically both Leigh and Fonda come from a Hollywood background with Fonda as the daughter of Peter Fonda and Leigh as the daughter of Vic Morrow).  Leigh’s performance is much more nuanced than Fonda’s role, but she also has a meatier and darker role.  Steven Weber plays a good slimy guy and Stephen Tobolowsky plays the weird very slimy “almost” hero.  The only good guy is Peter Friedman as the gay neighbor who breaks the odds as a gay friend in a slasher type movie.

single white female jennifer jason leigh bridget fonda

Sisters ’til the end!

The movie is stylishly shot, but it is a pretty standard looking.  It could have been a bit more dramatic, but it does the job by building tension and thrills.  It looks better than some of the similar TV movie-of-the-week that were popular around the time, but it also doesn’t feel as big as it could have been.

Single White Female is a quick, fun thriller. It isn’t the most memorable movie, but I have fond memories of it.  It is very much of the time period and is fun to revisit if you haven’t seen it in years.  If you are unfamiliar with the movie, it probably won’t impress you that much as a new viewer, but it is a nice time capsule to a style of thriller that doesn’t seem to be made as much since the style isn’t very PC when dealing with actual medical conditions and mental health crisis.  Single White Female will always have a spot in my list of thrillers.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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