• 1991movierewind

Episode #5: Sleeping with the Enemy

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

Listen to Episode 5 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.

Trigger Warning: Please note that this episode and film deals with the subject of Domestic Violence.

SUMMARY - Sleeping with the Enemy follows Laura Burney (played by Julia Roberts), a young housewife trapped in an abusive home. Appearances are great on the outside, but inside their beachside mansion is a constant state of fear and violence from her perfectionist, sadistic husband Martin (played by Patrick Bergen). One night on a late night boating trip, Laura takes the opportunity to fake her own death and manages to escape half-way across the country. Can she finally escape her past and start a new life?


Screenplay by Ronald Bass; Directed by Joseph Ruben and released on February 8, 1991.

FILM DISCUSSION

The movie deals with domestic violence and the psychological impact it causes. Before anything else, we wanted to offer a couple links that you could use if you're able and willing to provide assistance.


https://www.cawc.org/ - Connections for Abused Women and their Children is a charity that is local to us that we support.

https://www.charitynavigator.org/ - Charity Navigator is a great resource that can assist you in finding any charity and provide more insight as to how trustworthy the organization may be, and often provides breakdowns showing how the charity spends their donations. Please consider using that resource to find organizations in your area, or for any cause you might want to support.

When discussing the movie itself, we talk about the lasting impact some of the scenes can have on the viewer.

Keeping the towels straight acted as a constant identifier of Laura's safety level.

We talk about how the film is basically like a TV movie with a budget. It is shot well, but the plot and dialogue are lacking at times.

We do our best to fill in some of the plot holes that are frequently brought up, including why it may have possible for that ring to stay in the toilet for so long.

Compare our thoughts to Roger Ebert's concerns - https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/sleeping-with-the-enemy-1991

Desson Howe from the Washington Post also provides a list of questions - https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/sleepingwiththeenemyrhowe_a0b2da.htm

How nice is the "nice" guy in the new town? And how much of his creepy behavior was intentional?

Rita Kempley of the Washington Post thought he was too nice, but we disagree - https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/sleepingwiththeenemyrkempley_a0a0de.htm

Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly said that the husband needed to be more likable - Owen Gleiberman

Again, we disagree and also warn our listeners to avoid anyone that would drink from a water fountain this way.

There are several bad decisions made by the characters in this movie, but it was also a bad idea in terms of movie-making to include such a long dress-up montage scene in a thriller.


We talk a little about the house on the coast. Here are a couple of links to our resources for that discussion:

https://hookedonhouses.net/2011/05/23/the-cape-cod-beach-house-from-sleeping-with-the-enemy/

https://www.starnewsonline.com/article/NC/20160208/News/605046650/WM

In discussing the cast and their work outside of the movie, we talk about Patrick Bergin's musical career. He had a top ten hit in Ireland that caused a lot of controversy in 2003. We're not going to link the song here (honestly, it's not worth it), but here is an article outlining the issue - https://www.hotpress.com/music/patrick-bergin-defends-knacker-song-i-am-not-a-racist-2689403

Awards talk - We talk about how it was awarded the "Worst Foreign Film" award from a European entity called the Yoga Awards as further proof of critical disdain


TRUE CRIME & POP CULTURE

We usually try to tie some true crime information into the movie or week of release. This time, since domestic violence is unfortunately far too common, Nikki discussed a recent article that touches on the rise of victims that is occurring during this pandemic

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2024046


To switch gears, we do talk about the pop culture of the week briefly.

The Top Song of the Week was:

C&C Music Factory -- Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)

The top song in the UK was:

THE KLF -- 3am Eternal, one of Nikki's personal favorites

And the top R&B song of the week was:

En Vogue -- You Don’t Have to Worry

TV Listings - This week's TGIF listing is mostly the same, but it seems every week there is one unexpected show in the lineup. This time, it was "Going Places"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Going_Places_(American_TV_series)

RANKINGS & RATINGS

Nikki 1-5 star scale - 3 out of 5

Jon 0-4 star scale - 2 1/2 out of 4

Would you watch again? - We both agree that we would. Despite the dark subject matter it still has an indescribable appeal.

If you want to watch Sleeping with the Enemy, as of this recording in March 2021, it’s available on Digital Rent, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings


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