Single White Female

1992

Single White Female

Critics Consensus

Single White Female benefits from a pair of outstanding leads, neither of whom are well served by a storyline that wavers between thrillingly tense and utterly ridiculous.

55%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 47

44%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 39,052
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Single White Female Photos

Movie Info

After advertising for a new roommate, Allison finds herself living with Hedra, an initially shy woman who soon exhibits strange, obsessive behavior in this psychological thriller. When Allison realizes that her new roommate is attempting to steal her identity, she pulls away, driving Hedra to dangerous levels of dementia.

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Cast

Bridget Fonda
as Allison Jones
Jennifer Jason Leigh
as Hedra Carlson
Steven Weber
as Sam Rawson
Peter Friedman
as Graham Knox
Stephen Tobolowsky
as Mitchell Myerson
Frances Bay
as Elderly Neighbor
Michele Farr
as Myerson's Assistant
Tara Karsian
as Mannish Applicant
Christiana Capetillo
as Exotic Applicant
Jessica Lundy
as Talkative Applicant
Renee Estevez
as Perfect Applicant
Amelia Campbell
as Check Cashier
Kenneth Tobey
as Desk Clerk
Ken Tobey
as Desk Clerk
Eric Poppick
as Nosy Neighbor
Kim Sykes
as TV Reporter
Michael James Collins
as Cashier Manager
Jerry Mayer
as News Vendor
Robert Steinberg
as Hedy's Date
Leslie A. Sank
as Woman in Club
Ron Athey
as Bartender
Kaaren Boothroyd
as Bookstore Customer
Jack Wilson
as Man in Cage
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Critic Reviews for Single White Female

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (11)

  • The formula betrays the fine work of Leigh and Fonda, whose characters are much too interesting to find themselves stranded in a tony but ultimately tired slasher movie.

    Feb 8, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • There's something dehumanizing about 90s horror thrillers that all but defeats the film's impulses toward seriousness; no matter how much the filmmakers work to make the characters real, the genre contrives to turn them into functions and props.

    Apr 14, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Despite excellent lead performances and numerous memorable scenes, this still feels like two different movies in one.

    Apr 14, 2008

    Todd McCarthy

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • If his two leads are adequate to the slick mechanisms of a formulaic thriller, neither they nor Don Roos' script (based on the novel by John Lutz) offer any original insights into insatiable emotional dependence.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Adams

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The film is smooth, entertaining and believably sophisticated. It has far more sound psychological underpinnings than other movies of its type.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • Schroeder goes through the motions -- the movie is elegantly made -- but this synthetic Hollywood package panders shamelessly to the baser instincts.

    May 12, 2001

Audience Reviews for Single White Female

  • Oct 20, 2014
    Though nothing special, this is an efficient thriller with the kind of subject that could have actually been made into a better movie had it played as a psychological drama. Still, It is nice to see that Schroeder manages to make it seem real enough despite its most ludicrous moments.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 29, 2011
    I watched this on a whim because I had heard of it a few times and I had nothing else to really do. Acting/characters: Far and away the best performance in this film is Jennifer Jason Leigh as the new roommate that Bridget Fonda gets. She does a spectacular job treading the line between a helpless, needy, fragile person and a downright psychopath. As the movie progresses Leigh's desperate insanity gets more and more over-the-top but still believable. It can be tiresome but it is generally excellent. One thing that I had a problem with, is that the filmmakers wanted us to feel very sorry for Leigh and for the most part we did. But there are one or two things that she does that go a bit far. The puppy. That thing. It was gonna happen but still, as an audience member you lose a lot of ability to feel sorry for a character that does something like that. Fonda does a good job too as the character that the audience would have to relate to (God help the people who relate to Leigh more) but she is definitely overshadowed by Leigh. Also, I know a lot of people discuss how Fonda's character is kind of a jerk. Looking at their complaints I can see why. she pretty much uses Leigh for a bit of emotional support but then when she doesn't need her any more she just discards her in favor of her cheating boyfriend. There are a few other characters in the film who do an alright job, but they are less important as the film is pretty much dominated by the interactions of the two female leads and I think that it works very well here. The performances weren't perfect but they were very good. 9/10 Plot: It is one of the original 'insane roommate' movies. It is the movie that The Roommate is based off of. Now I haven't seen any other movies like this so I can't really compare, but I think that this one was really good. My biggest problem with the plot was that by the end, I had lost a little interest because I was starting to feel the running time. The film clocks in at just under 2 hours but I feel that they could have shortened it and still have made it just as good. Aside from the fact that it felt a bit long, it was a really well done story that was fascinating at the same time that it was absolutely heartbreaking and still at the same time it was horrifying. It could be very lighthearted at moments and you wanted everything to work out in the end with everybody. But it didn't. It took some very dark turns. In a good way though. The dark turns didn't turn me off to the film but they made where everything was going next more interesting. 8/10 Screenplay: I think it was alright. Seeing as how the film wasn't incredibly violent and most scenes were between the two leads (and also pretty much confined to one space most of the time) the relationship of the characters relied very much on the dialogue. Behind almost every great screen relationship there is good dialogue to go with it and I think that the film succeeded with that for the most part. it wasn't perfect but it was pretty good overall and I liked the scenes where the two leads are talking and Leigh's dark side starts to slip out while still managing to make her desperate. it was alright. 7.5/10 Likableness: Despite some flaws here and there and the fact that it can feel too long, I enjoyed it for the most part. it was a pretty decent film. The performances of the two leads, particularly Leigh, are really good and it was great to see where the film goes as Leigh gets more and more desperately insane. I would suggest it to anyone who likes a good suspense/identity crisis film. It isn't a perfect movie but I think it is a very entertaining one capped off by a couple of really good performances. I wouldn't mind watching it again. In fact, looking at the rating, I'd say it's underrated a little. But I thought it was pretty good. 8/10 Final Score: 32.5/40 81% (N) Tomatometer rating: 55% Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 56% TRIVIA TIME: 1. Like most old apartment buildings the building in this movie does not contain a floor 13. You can see the floor numbers on the elevator in a couple shots. 2. The Ansonia on the Upper West Side of Manhattan was used for the apartment building. The interiors were shot on a sound stage but the scenes in the stairwells were shot at The Ansonia. 3. Bridget Fonda had the choice of playing either the Allie role or the Hedy role. She ended up choosing to play Allie, because she said it was a harder role.
    Lord N Super Reviewer
  • Oct 29, 2010
    So so movie & I hate when animals die in movies.
    Cassie H Super Reviewer
  • Oct 14, 2010
    There are many conventions in this film that make it really great as a thriller, and a good horror film. Many things about this film reminded me of 2009's "Orphan" mostly because of the main antagonist's shady past, her connections to a horrible childhood, and trying to seduce all the men around her. Jennifer Jason Leigh has never been creepier or more anally retentive than she is opposite Fonda. Both women are very strong choices for this film, and give stellar performances. What really takes away from this dynamic are the steamy scenes that pander. Nudity, seduction, and over-the-top scenes bring this film very close to B-movie. The ending is even annoyingly underwhelming and anti-climactic, for a story that is so built up throughout, and dramatic at every turn. The premise was interesting, but some of the directorial decisions and parts of the script really took away from the tension.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer

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