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While the story of If Only For One Night is predictable and very cliché, the chemistry between the female and male lead are pleasant surprises.
Characters & Storyline
It’s the same thing you’ve watched for years. A seemingly perfect relationship ruined by infidelity thanks to a watered down version of Glenn Close’s Alex Forrest from Fatal Attraction. This go around we watch the family of William (Brian White) and Chloe (Karrueche Tran) get ruined thanks to Chloe’s sister Caroline (Angelique Pereira). A mentally disturbed woman, as they all are in movies like this, whose envy leads her to drug and rape her sister’s husband. However, don’t think they tried to make it complicated for he goes for seconds the next day when likely, whatever she put in his drink, wears off.
Thus setting up your usual story of this crazy chick who is now pregnant trying to get rid of the wife, convince the man to leave her, threatening to harm herself, and your usual fight scene to end the movie.
William and Chloe’s Chemistry/ Tran’s Performance
Usually, when it comes to films like this, it seems like the leads don’t have chemistry as much as they have someone’s definition of star power. However, when it comes to Tran and White, you get a surprisingly cute couple. I mean, they make the type of pair who could be in a legit romance film and despite Tran just being known as Chris Brown’s ex, she shows she can be so much more.
Something which, I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t expecting. At best, I was thinking she maybe like Amber Rose in Sister Code. You know, playing up what she is known for or something like that. However, Tran made a credible love interest and while she wasn’t really given the emotional weight of the movie, she does present herself capable of possibly evolving into the type of actress who could do that. For she definitely made me want her and William to stay together a bit more than White. Plus, when William revealed he cheated, I was so for her leaving his ass and moving on. Especially because of the next topic.
Blame It On The…
It isn’t clear what Caroline puts in William’s drink, but between that and alcohol we are expected to believe he goes from woozy to willing to screw her like a raving rabbit. Now, being that date rape is often portrayed as something done to women and not men, it is hard to say how accurate what happened to William is. However, being that he went for seconds after the drug surely wore off, it kills the one thing which could have made this film just a teensy bit complicated.
For if it was just that one time when he was drugged, which he claimed he didn’t remember but suddenly got his memory back about, this film could have gone into a slightly unfamiliar direction. I mean, between exploring men being drugged and raped, Chloe not believing that is a thing, and then with Caroline! Oh, she could have played things like they were both drunk, slept together, and maybe keep her crazy, but dialed it down a bit. You know, maybe have Caroline played as a real femme fatale vs. an unstable psycho.
What I mean by that is, they could have added layers to Caroline. In my mind, they could have kept Caroline drugging him but played on that pregnancy more. She could have made that whole night seem like they were both drunk out of their minds but it was a mutual mistake. Yet, with her being pregnant now, and her being able to get pregnant with her ex, she doesn’t want to abort the baby. Leading to various complications because William knows this woman raped him yet she has the power to keep or abort the baby. Plus, it is his kid and he doesn’t want them raised by this psycho. But rather than be the type of psycho we see in the movie, she is one who doesn’t flip out every 5 minutes or ends the movie revealing all she did to her ex-husband, what she did to William, and what she planned to do to Chloe.
Overall: Mixed (Home Viewing)
While the writing and the way Pereira plays Caroline makes this movie seem like another supermarket DVD bin movie, arguably it does highlight Tran’s potential as an actress and makes it seem she may become something. Plus, her chemistry with White does lead you to believe these two would be good together in a straight romantic movie, or even a romantic comedy. Which is the silver lining to what could be considered a mediocre film.
One which completely sidesteps a barely taken, and rather interesting road, in order to change up the actors but keep the same old story which has been done damn near yearly. Hence the Mixed label for while it bypasses the story’s potential, it does introduce an actress who may actually be worthy of future roles based on merit and not who she used to associate with.