Blu-ray Review: Single White Female

Roommates can be a very scary proposition. You might be pals with someone for years, but things can change the minute you agree to share a house or apartment. You quickly learn that they love cooking things that disagree with your nose. They might talk so loudly in their sleep that two closed doors aren’t a help. Or they might not like to sleep and have no problem playing their stereo at 3 a.m. without headphones. They might not quite understand the concept that things in the pantry with your name on the label aren’t common property. And then things get really weird and twisted. Single White Female is about what happens when the daughters of two major Hollywood stars share a New York City apartment.

Allie Jones (Jackie Brown‘s Bridget Fonda) seems to have things going well for her. She taken over her software business, engaged to a swell boyfriend (Wings‘ Steven Weber) and lives in a great rent control apartment. Things crack quick when she discovers her man has been hooking up with his ex-wife. She kicks him to the curb which is liberating until she realizes that even with a rent control apartment, she can’t cover the rent. Her new client (Groundhog Day‘s Stephen Tobolowsky) isn’t quite paying her that well. So she takes out a classified ad as Single White Female looking for a roomie. This brings numerous responses, but ends up picking Hedy Carlson (Fast Times at Ridgemont High‘s Jennifer Jason Leigh). Hedy seems a bit mousy and works at a bookstore. The two ladies quickly form a friendship bond as they go shopping and hang out in the big city. Hedy pushes things when she gets a free puppy. At first Allie is taken back, but both embrace what is becoming their new family of two ladies and their happy puppy. The idyllic life doesn’t last long when Allie hooks back up with her fiance. Hedy realizes she’s going to lose her friend and her brand new apartment. Things turn dark quick as Hedy doesn’t want to move out or on from Allie. This tale goes from the classified to the crime pages of the newspaper.

Single White Female remains a fine nightmare of life in New York City. Nothing drives a person more insane and desperate in the Big Apple than the fear of losing your “cheap” apartment. The casting of Bridget and Jennifer was pure genius since they work so well off each other. Bridget is the daughter of Peter Fonda (Easy Rider) and Jennifer’s dad is Vic Morrow (Bad News Bears. Peter and Vic went at each other in Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry. They are different yet they have certain shared experiences. There’s a chilling creepiness when they wear matching haircuts. Director Barbet Schroeder goes beyond a Vertigo homage to Alfred Hitchcock. There’s a brilliant creepiness that evolves out of their roommate situation. He even gets a creepy performance from Tobolowsky as he slimes on Bridget Fonda. Single White Female is the perfect film to watch when your roommate is away for the night.

The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The transfer brings out the sleek nature of the film. The detail is stunning when the leads have matching haircuts. The audio is DTS-HD MA Stereo that brings out the odd noises coming from the vents in the apartment. The movie is subtitled.

Audio Commentary With Director Barbet Schroeder, Editor Lee Percy, And Associate Producer Susan Hoffman gets deep into stories from the set and creating the tension between the roommates.

Interview With Director Barbet Schroeder (27:20) has him recount how this was his first true studio film after decades of working with an independent budget during production. He had to cut back on the violence and erotic content.

Interview With Actor Steven Weber (19:41) has him recount working and learning about Schroeder. He didn’t have to do much research for the role except play a guy in his 30s.

Interview With Actor Peter Friedman (7:17) catches up with the upstairs neighbor. He explains how he’s allergic to cats and went through a treatment to be able to work with his feline co-star.

Interview With Screenwriter Don Roos (25:41) talks about working in TV taught him that you always needed to keep your audience hooked especially in a suspense movie. He speaks of adapting the novel.

Theatrical Trailer (2:04) has the classified add that makes everything go bad.

Scream Factory presents Single White Female. Directed by Barbet Schroeder. Screenplay by: Don Roos. Starring: Bridget Fonda, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Steven Weber, Peter Friedman and Stephen Tobolowsky. Rated: Rated R. Running Time: 104 minutes. Released: November 13, 2018.

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