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Deceived


One of Goldie Hawn's rare ventures into pure thriller territory, 1991's DECEIVED is an interesting drama that will keep you guessing for at least half of its running time.

As the film opens, Adrienne (Hawn) is meeting a blind date at a restaurant. While the date never shows, she does share glances and flirtation with a stranger alone across the restaurant.

When that same man shows up at her studio the next day, its either the greatest coincidence of the year or part of a much bigger plan. The man is Jack Saunders, well played by John Heard (Home Alone, Cat People) as an art dealer who says he's met Adrienne before.

As the film unwinds, the two fall in love, have a daughter and seem to have five years of marital bliss.

And then, as things tend to do in these movies, or at least in the maddeningly uneven screenplay by Mary Agnes Donoghue (Beaches, White Oleander) Adrienne begins to suspect that Jack is having an affair, and that he may be a thief...and then......

The less you know the better from the halfway point. There is a mysterious death, some very well done cat & mouse snooping that will remind you of DePalma and Hitchcock in all the right ways and then some unraveling of the suspense as the truth emerges.

Hawn remains good throughout and she's believable as both the trusting spouse and an intelligent woman feeling betrayed.

For those of you that only know Heard as the Dad in the "Home Alone" movies, you'll find plenty of unexpected range from him as the plot unfolds.

The last suspenseful confrontation between Adrienne and a major character starts off well and then ends in a moment that probably looked brilliant on the page, but seems only half executed on film. At THE key moment of denouncement, you find yourself thinking "hey wait, what happened there, did he....was it dark?..what exactly...." these are not the thoughts that should be running through your mind at this moment.

But, if you can buy that moment, you'll probably have a pretty good time and let the better sequences carry you through.

Hawn is a strong lead and is perfectly capable of carrying a non-comedy. It makes you wish she had done more straight roles like this and "The Sugarland Express".

The film's good at taking the "When you fall in love with someone, how much do you really know about them" and chasing the possibilities down a very dark alley.

As Goldie said at the time, "If he isn't who I think he is, then who am I?". An interesting premise and for at least 45 minutes in the middle of the film, very well explored.

Deceived gets a B-.

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