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Uninvited Guest


Uninvited Guest

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An attractive, potentially dangerous drifter enters the home of a bourgeois, upper-middle-class couple and turns their lives upside down, forcing them to question their ideas about class, fidelity, gender roles, and commitment. This template has paid rich dividends in probing, psychologically complex films like Knife In The Water and Bone, but it fails to overcome an atrocious script and unforgivably clumsy direction in Timothy Wayne Folsome's muddled directorial debut, Uninvited Guest. Mekhi Phifer stars as the anti-hero, a murder-prone, high-priced gigolo on the run who turns up at the plush home of Buppie screenwriter Mel Jackson and undersexed aspiring painter Mari Morrow, uncovering the barely hidden fissures in their crumbling marriage. Phifer has done terrific work in the past, particularly as the morally conflicted lead in Clockers, but he can't make his character's smarmy come-ons—"I was conceived on silk sheets, and ever since, I just can't seem to stay off of them"—sound anything but ridiculous. Such caramel-coated sweet nothings prove successful on the hot-to-trot Morrow, however, and soon Uninvited Guest begins to resemble a bosom-heaving Harlequin romance, complete with orgasmic foot massages, countertop cunnilingus, and frenzied lovemaking in the Jacuzzi. Phifer shows his true colors soon after, at which point the film shifts from an amusingly overheated love triangle into an equally moronic but far more familiar cable-ready thriller. Folsome addresses issues of class, gender, and sexuality in the clumsiest fashion imaginable, with the help of howlingly obvious expository dialogue, but his only real concern seems to be in figuring out how to jerk the audience from one wildly convoluted scene to another. Like far too many gimmicky, over-plotted thrillers, Uninvited Guest seems to exist solely for the sake of an implausible twist ending that does little to redeem the unwavering, audience-insulting stupidity of everything that precedes it.