The Bedroom Window Reviews
Interesting that the critical response is almost twice the audience score. I think Curtis was, all through his career, probably a little too hip for the room, although certainly there were several hits, notably Hollywood Confidential and 8 Mile. But audience's didn't much like The Wonder Boys when it first came out either. Of course, opinions have changed about that and several other of Curtis's films after their first releases. I think eventually he'll be acknowledged as one of Hollywood's best directors. And, beyond that, he was just a wonderful person to work with -- never felt so supported. His suggestions were always exactly right.
The hero (Steve Guttenberg) makes a well-intentioned mistake early in the film with some serious unintended consequences for him later. His white lie turns into a mountain of trouble. There's a cruel logic to what unspools, and his attempts to extricate himself seem perfectly rational, but the noose gets tighter anyway. The twists here are jazzy and (mostly) unpredictable though the last half hour or so isn't quite as sharp as the rest of the film. It loses some plausibility, but that's a minor complaint in a thriller and this is a gem of a movie.
So why is this film nearly forgotten today? Well, first, there's the problem of Steve Guttenberg. You hate him, don't you? I don't think he's nearly as bad an actor as his reputation suggests - he's likable in this - but maybe Hanson should've cast someone with a little more edge. No matter how much I plead this movie's case, you're just not going to watch a Steve Guttenberg movie, are you?
Second is Hanson's unremarkable direction. It doesn't have the visual flair of Hitchcock or the Brian DePalma knockoffs of the time which invites inevitable comparisons. Hanson is an excellent screenwriter, but he didn't really find his footing as a director until the '90s and this movie doesn't have any blatant "film geek" moments. He should've spun his camera around like a nut a couple of times and shot more closeups of eyeballs - maybe even threw in some clowns and split screen. Film nerds eat that stuff up and they'd be discussing its "meaning" to this day. ("Hanson SEES the DIZZINESS of the FRACTURED CIRCUS-LIKE urban experience!") But the script is more logical and believable than any of DePalma's efforts, (and even a fair number of Hitchcock's), and it should be appreciated for that. This is a very entertaining suspenser, if you're a fan of those, and it's severely underrated. 4 stars.