As a young college student, I had a professor who was obsessed with me to the point of staking. Decades later, he would eventually be reported losing his tenure at the institution. There is nothing is more unsettling than to have someone not connecting with the message “you are just not that into him” and watching them unravel at the seams over that news.
As luck would have it, that is very similar to what happens with Ellie Warner (Nia Long) and the dude that was crushing on her in college David Hammond (Omar Epps). Ellie has moved to a suburban seaboard town with her husband Marcus (Stephen Bishop) mostly for his recovery and to embark life as her own boss. Right before she leaves her old firm, she has an unexpected meeting with David, who’s been hired to dig up cyber dirt on a client. Baby, that’s when the ish hits the fan!
When I tell you Omar Epps is creepy and crazy as hell in the film…I do NOT exaggerate. Unlike in Traffik, where he’s the hunted, this time he is doing the hunting. The number of times I screamed and yelled at. my television set was ridiculous…yet so much fun. Nia Long (also the Executive Producer) is gorgeous, classy and hardly ever allowed to stretch the scope of her range. In Fatal Affair, she stretches within an inch of her life…literally and it’s captivating to watch. Stephen Bishop, usually relegated to playing the handsome, yet trifling significant other, is now the dutiful, supporting, loving husband and pulls it off brilliantly.
Now, have we seen this before? Absolutely….numerous times. But, let’s applaud the fact that the tide is shifting in the industry where an OG like Nia Long produces, stars in and casts primarily Black actors in a thriller. A genre that is mostly associated with and starring others. I do have to take writer and director Peter Sullivan to task about one scene where I was like a Black women would “never” do THAT. Trust me, you’ll know it when you see it. Otherwise, grab a cocktail, some snacks and sit down with Fatal Affair streaming on Netflix right now.