Homewrecker is an astonishment.
The film brings back what many people already believe about dark comedies — that women just do it better. It does not merely take from the already over-used tropes, but instead builds and develops them in new and perhaps at times even awkward ways. This dark comedy performs, entertains, and keeps audiences and critics guessing until the very end.
This beautifully executed grim tale is directed by of Zach Gayne. The writers include Precious Chong, Alex Essoe, and Kris Siddiqi. Together, these talented people have managed to produce a film that is both fun and deep, performing acrobatics in the way they produce a comedy with serious commentary about society and the roles women play. It explores sisterhood from new angles and reveals what motivates these two women in their lives.
Our main protagonist, played by Alex Essoe, is Michelle, who might very well be considered a typical average 30-year-old introvert with an active lifestyle. She is established and works as an interior designer. She is recently married to her husband Robert (Kris Siddiqi). Michelle meets a new acquaintance by the name of Linda (Precious Chong) who is well into her 40s and outgoing. Linda lives alone and spends her days painting, working out, and watching old movies. Linda actively seeks a new friend and attaches herself to Michelle.
Linda later reminds Michelle that they have been meeting in all the same active fitness classes: yoga, spin, and dance, where she asked if she had a tampon for her unexpected period. They never tried to interact while in those spaces. While in the coffee shop, Linda tries to hire Michelle and takes her to her home for inspection and a fun few hours of playing hooky from work. There is a darkness about Linda that begins to take form once Michelle is in her home. The seemingly innocuous day suddenly turns.
This fun and socially scary film includes some conventions within dramatic plays that many are used to seeing. For instance, if there is a hammer on the wall, chances are it is going to be used by the end of the film. Despite this obviously glaring detail, Michelle thinks nothing more of it. However, Linda’s mind contains something more evil than just a new davenport.
The weapons never stop coming, and their usage continues until the last nail is hit on the head. The weapons are not always physical. Sometimes the most dangerous ones are emotional and psychological. Linda’s brilliantly devious mind uses the “good girl” attitude that many are conditioned to be by society and weaponizes it. She knows that Michelle is kind-hearted and will do what it takes to please and make people happy.
Linda, riddled with delusion and loneliness, begins to drug, capture, and beat Michelle into submission. Playing a wholesome cat-and-mouse game, Linda holds onto Michelle for as long as possible — a time that is even unclear to Linda. This theme of games continues on when they sit down to play a sexy video board game called Party Hunks. This concept of games allows these two women to reveal facets of themselves they would not have done otherwise.
In this ridiculously intriguing game Linda tells of her lover, who is with another woman. While she cannot make him choose between them, she feels resentful and lonely. Michelle has reservations about her husband, and in this act of playing games allows herself to be vulnerable and speak about how she really feels. This later reverts back into their melee, where the victor is never clear. The emotional and physical damage on both ends is high. Who really wins when every weapon at their disposal is used to hurt the other?
The twists and turns of irrationality and intricacies are endless as these two women explore sisterhood through forceful interactions, obsessions, and subversions. The overall message of the film leaves room for questions like: What is the meaning of sisterhood? What motivates someone to seek new friends? And, are hammers as a decorative choice really a good idea? These questions are set to rest once the last nail on the door is hammered in.
Although the Black Girl Nerds message is about bringing together all nerdy women, there is something about women taking each other down that just makes people want to keep watching. Violence usually never solves anything, and the only people who benefit are the spectators. So, spectators, prepare to benefit from a hilarious fest. Homewrecker is clearly a film to watch for an absurdly good time. This film really hammers home the idea of women and sisterhood.