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cliveowenmoviestillgunThis new film starring Clive Owen—the man who should have been James Bond—and Jennifer Aniston is a cautionary tale about staying faithful to your spouse and never, ever renting rooms in sleazy hotels. Part Fatal Attraction, part Hitchcock thriller Derailed stays on track through the set-up of the story, but as soon as the going gets rough the story, well, derails.

Owen plays a family man saddled with troubles at work and at home who hooks up with Lucinda, played by Jennifer Aniston, after meeting her on a commuter train. In a hormone induced rush they decide to consummate their illicit affair at a seedy hotel, only to be interrupted by a burglar who robs them and sexually assaults Lucinda. Things spiral out of control as the robber blackmails the couple and seems to have an unquenchable thirst for Owen’s money.

It wouldn’t be fair to reveal any more about the plot, but suffice to say it tries to keep the viewer of balance until the closing moments of the movie. The trouble is the script telegraphs most of the story’s surprises, providing a virtual roadmap for all the twists and turns that lay ahead. The other problem is the casting of the leads. Owen and Aniston are miscast as a wimpy, ineffectual man and femme fatale respectively. Owen, whose hangdog look perfectly captures the despair his character feels in his complicated home life, is simply too charismatic to play a believable dumb schmuck and Aniston, who hasn’t been in a thriller since 1993’s Leprechaun, has an innate sweetness that seems at odds with her character.

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