Early in Beyoncé Knowles’s career, she made the successful transition from pop star to movie star. While her movie career never fully engaged like her singing career, she did make a few notable films. One such movie is finding a new life on Hulu as it claims the streamer’s #4 position.
Obsessed stars Idris Elba as Derek Charles. He works at a finance company and is quite good at what he does, having just received a huge promotion at work. He is married to the beautiful Sharon (Beyoncé) and the couple have a young two-year-old named Kyle.
Derek’s idyllic life is about to change as Lisa Sheridan (Ali Larter) is hired to temp work in Derek’s office. Derek, being the nice guy he is, befriends the new girl Lisa, who thinks there’s more to Derek being nice to her. She thinks Derek is flirting with her.
Immediately intrigued, Lisa begins her seduction of Derek. Being the nice guy again, Derek politely declines her advances until Lisa goes all in by making sexual advances at the firm’s Christmas Party. Things get out of control when Lisa follows Derek to his car, flashing him until he forces her out. Derek intends to go to his company’s human resources to file a complaint but finds out that Lisa has left her job. Beyoncé is not going to be happy at home here.
Derek’s relief at Lisa being out of his life is short-lived as he begins to get naughty emails from Lisa. She then follows Derek to a conference where she continues her pursuit. After another confrontation, Derek finds Lisa lying naked in his hotel bed – she’s tried to commit suicide.
Sharon (Beyoncé), meanwhile, is unable to reach Derek, but she eventually finds him at the hospital, where she suspects Derek and Lisa to be having an affair. Derek tries to convince her otherwise, but Sharon doesn’t believe it, kicking him out of their home.
Eventually, though, Derek and Sharon reconcile. This pushes Lisa over the edge, as if she wasn’t already there. She arrives at Derek’s home while he and Sharon are out and convinces the babysitter to let her in. When Derek and Sharon return, they find that Lisa had been there and has taken their son. What did Beyoncé do to deserve this?
Derek finds their boy in the back seat of his car. With Lisa on the loose, Derek and Sharon decide to take their son out of town for a few days. As Sharon leaves the house, she realizes that she forgot to set the house alarm and returns to find Lisa there, doing Lisa things to the couple’s bedroom. It’s a catfight to end all catfights that ends with someone losing their life. Of course, we aren’t here to spoil each and every detail.
Obsessed owes its existence to the 1987 Michael Douglas/Glenn Close stalker thriller Fatal Attraction. The problem with that comparison, though, is that Obsessed never took things far enough for many viewers and critics alike. The film read more like a watered-down version of Fatal Attraction.
The main complaint came from the fact that Lisa’s reasoning was never explained, but according to the film’s director, Steve Shill, that was the intended effect. His goal, as well as the goal of screenwriter David Loughery, was to have the film set up discussions by the audience concerning the characters’ motivations.
Loughery explained via MovieWeb that it was his desire to design Larter’s character as “not a villain in a traditional sense; she’s not setting out to wreck a marriage or ruin somebody’s life. She really believes that [Derek] is in love with her.” Shill and Loughery say Lisa’s past was omitted deliberately from the film because, “It’s scarier if we never really know how she’s developed this personality that can go from very loving to ultimately deadly.”
Unfortunately, this deliberate omission is what alienated critics as well as audiences. While critics took potshots at the film, as evidenced by its 19% favorable rating on Rotten Tomatoes, audiences didn’t flock to the box office, despite the casting of Elba and Beyoncé. Shill made his movie for $20 million, and it brought back close to $74 million at the box office. Not bad, considering.
Not all is bad news when it comes to Obsessed. The film actually took home the MTV Movie Award for Best Fight. Seems the Beyoncé/Larter attic brawl was worth the price of admission.
The 2009 Obsessed would be Beyoncé’s last feature film. She did lend her voice to films such as Epic in 2013 and Disney’s The Lion King in 2019 but her time on the big screen was done. Concentrating on her music, Beyoncé did appear in the documentary Homecoming as well as her visual albums, Lemonade and Black is King.
Before Beyoncé decided to call it quits on the big screen even though she had a fairly successful movie career working. She was seen in Austin Powers in Goldmember as Foxxy Cleopatra, then The Fighting Temptations, The Pink Panther, the highly successful Dreamgirls, and finally Cadillac Records before she ended things with Obsessed.
All of these could simply be considered side gigs to the woman who has made singing and business her life. The pop star, who started her career with the girl group Destiny’s Child, eventually went on to her own solo career while also catching the eye of music mogul, rap artist, and media proprietor Shawn Carter, aka Jay-Z. Together the two have formed one of the most financially successful music and business teams in the world.
Other than music videos, albums, and documentaries, it doesn’t appear that we will see Beyoncé back on the big screen in the near future. Who knows, though, that could all change if the right project presented itself to the pop star. Until then, if it ever happens, you can enjoy Beyoncé (maybe) in Obsessed. The film can be found on Hulu. Or you can just listen to her music. Your call.