Rowena (Halle Berry – Catwoman, Monster's Ball) is a woman who seems to have it going on when suddenly her world crashes down around her. She is a successful investigative journalist who seems to always get her man. There is not a secret that she cannot expose. When the story she is writing about an American Senator (Gordon MacDonald – The Thin Red Line) becomes too hot to handle her paper kills the story. Rowena does not play it that way and quits. Working on her own with her trusty, but a little too dedicated assistant, Miles (Giovanni Ribisi – Cold Mountain, Lost in Translation), Rowena stumbles upon a story with teeth when her childhood friend, Grace (Nicki Aycox – appeared in episodes of The X-Files and Providence), turns up murdered.
Grace seems to have had a link with wealthy and powerful ad man, Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis – Grindhouse, Die Hard). Rowena decides to go undercover at his ad agency to get the inside track on him. It becomes an uncomfortable game of cat-and-mouse between Hill and Rowena with her never knowing who has the upper hand. Despite the danger, Rowena stays in the game in order to the bottom of things.
It almost seems to me that since her well-deserved Oscar win of a few years ago that Halle Berry has suffered through the Nicholas Cage syndrome. It almost seems as if she has forgotten how to choose roles and how to act. This might seem overly harsh to you, but wait until you see this clunker. James Foley's (Glengarry Glen Ross, Fear) Perfect Stranger starts out with much promise in the thriller genre, but then becomes full of such predictable twists and improbability that it becomes frustrating. If you want a film that will make you think then this is not the one for you. You might end up spending the time scratching your head, but that is about it. The script becomes such a mess that even Sherlock Holmes himself could not unravel the mystery of it.
Berry's acting does not help matters in that she seems stiff and wooden throughout. It seems as if she has trouble with the tough girl with a past type roles. She is pretty 'off' throughout. Her saving grace is that she is pretty. Bruce Willis is, well, Bruce Willis in the film. If you like him then he's there in all his glory. Giovanni Ribisi is his usual solid self. The film would have been less bearable without his mix of craziness, humour and boundless energy. After watching this film you'll want to have remained strangers with it.
– Behind the Scenes – Virtual Lives: The Making of Perfect Stranger