Someone to Watch Over Me (1987) starring Tom Berenger, Mimi Rogers, Lorraine Bracco, Jerry Orbach, John Rubinstein directed by Ridley Scott Movie Review

Someone to Watch Over Me (1987)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Tom Berenger in Someone to Watch Over Me (1987)

The Defective Detective

In Queens, Mike Keegan (Tom Berenger) along with his wife Ellie (Lorraine Bracco) and son Tommy (Harley Cross) are celebrating as he has not only been promoted to detective but in a precinct in Manhattan. Later on than night socialite Claire Gregory (Mimi Rogers) is the sole witness to a murder involving mobster Joey Venza (Andreas Katsulas) and as the police suspect Venza to come after her they assign around the clock protection with Mike being the newest detective pulling the short straw of taking the night watch. It is during those late night hours in the luxury of Claire's swanky Manhattan apartment that he becomes attracted to her causing him conflict when it comes to his own family.

There is a scene in the movie "Chaplin" where Charlie contemplates how to make a blind girl think that the Little Tramp is wealthy, the answer is the subtle sound of a car door being shut. Notice the use of the word subtle because it is the lack of it which makes "Someone to Watch Over Me" a strange movie especially when it is Ridley Scott who is behind the camera. Take for example of when Mike leaves the noise of Queens and heads to Claire's Manhattan apartment, the sudden blast of opera to differentiate between the two worlds is so unsubtle that you wonder whether forcing things was intentional.

Mimi Rogers in Someone to Watch Over Me (1987)

Now "Someone to Watch Over Me" of course has a storyline as we see the laid back Mike becoming close to Claire and enjoying her way of life as he provides security during the late night hours. But not only is the storyline short on surprises that forced nature constantly ends up distraction. From dialogue which includes lines like "he may be an idiot, but he's my idiot" to Tom Bringer's performance as he plays Mike as a dumb ass, a laid back dumb ass which makes you question how he ever became a cop let alone a detective.

In many ways the lack of subtlety ruins the movie as whilst the storyline is nothing special it is enough to be entertaining. There are some nice moments off drama in there and the whole conflict thing has plenty of depth with Mike suddenly turning on things which Ellie does such as every other word being a swear word. But I hate to sound like the proverbial broken record the lack of subtlety really ruins things especially with dialogue which may sound cool in the writers head but only comes across as corny on the screen.

What this all boils down to is that "Someone to Watch Over Me" is an entertaining movie and whilst not original it has a good storyline. But the lack of subtlety frequently pushes it over the edge in to the realms of being corny.