Wicked Ways

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy, Thriller

A teasingly naughty, blackly comic thriller that's haphazardly constructed and vacuously directed. Co-produced by the two leads, its uncertain tone eventually dissipates whatever steaminess it might have generated. Paranoid Ruth Draper (Rebecca DeMornay) has given up her lucrative career as an exotic dancer for a storybook Southern Californian marriage and,...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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A teasingly naughty, blackly comic thriller that's haphazardly constructed and vacuously directed. Co-produced by the two leads, its uncertain tone eventually dissipates whatever steaminess it might have generated. Paranoid Ruth Draper (Rebecca DeMornay) has given up her lucrative career as an exotic dancer for a storybook Southern Californian marriage and, she hopes, children. Although Ruth adores her hubby, pharmaceutical salesman Matt Draper (Michael Rooker), she doubts his sincerity after she has a miscarriage and comes to the misguided belief that he wants to get rid of her permanently. She even goes so far as to booby trap their modest home. Matt, for his part, really is hiding something, though he's not plotting murder: He's a bigamist with another life as a renowned research scientist with a wealthy wife. Hedging her bets, the volatile Ruth starts sashaying around new neighbor, Tom Bernard (Mark Rolston), a ballroom dancer who's also unhappy in his marriage. When Matt gets a promotion that means relocating to Washington D.C., he's desperate for a way out of his double bind. Matt confides in his romantic rival, Tom, and offers him a huge sum to help convince Ruth that one of her deadly homemade security devices has killed him. Believing that she's killed Matt before he had the chance to do her in, a guilt-free Ruth prepares to start a new life with Tom. Unfortunately, Tom has his own hidden agenda, and doesn't follow Matt's ersatz-death and burial scheme to the letter. In this erotic tango driven by jealousy, the plot twists aren't merely tangled — they're gnarled and both credibility and suspense are undermined at the most inopportune moments.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: R
  • Review: A teasingly naughty, blackly comic thriller that's haphazardly constructed and vacuously directed. Co-produced by the two leads, its uncertain tone eventually dissipates whatever steaminess it might have generated. Paranoid Ruth Draper (Rebecca DeMornay) h… (more)

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