Plot: Terry (Steve Guttenberg) has just brought home a beautiful woman and had a night of passion, but there’s one potential problem, as the woman happens to be his boss’ wife, Sylvia (Isabelle Huppert). After the romance, Sylvia hears a noise outside and when she looks out the window, she sees a man attacking a woman and when the man notices her, he flees the scene. The two agree that the authorities should be notified, but in order to keep their affair a secret, Terry decides to pose as the witness, saying he was alone in his apartment at the time. While she describes the assailant in detail, Terry still has issues with the identification, while the detectives begin to examine his story more closely and a rigorous defense attorney looks to discredit him as well. Soon Terry himself comes under suspicion for the crime and even with the help of a former victim, can he clear his name and help justice prevail?
Entertainment Value: I had fun with The Bedroom Window, though likely for mostly unintentional reasons, as this thriller makes little sense and has a lot of odd, even outlandish choices. The narrative is fine as far as the basic premise, but it just falls to pieces at times thanks to some strange character development and throwing common sense out the (bedroom) window. The movie’s sincere, serious tone makes it even more ridiculous, though I would have liked to see how this would have turned out in the hands of someone who recognized how silly the script was, then embraced the b movie potential involved. This is the kind of movie where the sadistic killer is the smartest person around, while both the protagonists and law enforcement come off as beyond clueless. But this leads to a lot of humorous moments, as Terry is such an idiot and the inexplicable actions of the police are ludicrous, all while the movie keeps a totally straight face through the nonsense. The twists are here in good amounts, though a lot of the surprises tend to be how stupid the characters are or how the movie ignores obvious elements. If you want a subtle, well crafted thriller, The Bedroom Window will probably just frustrate you to no end, but if you like the more convoluted side of the genre, it is worth a spin.
This movie has a capable, even impressive ensemble of talent involved, but the nature of the material holds back their performances. The cast puts in the effort and most take the script seriously, but this leads to kind of humorous efforts, since these serious turns take place in such ludicrous material. Wallace Shawn has the most stable performance here, as he is spared the kind of odd character choices, though his role is a smaller one, so that makes sense. But he is good here as a ruthless defense lawyer, a role he seems to relish and run with. Steve Guttenberg has the lead and he does put some energy into the role, only to have the script throw obstacle after obstacle in his path, making his character look like a complete moron most of the time. To his credit, he tries to make the best of what he’s given and he keeps things serious, so with this kind of material, you can’t fault his effort. Even Isabelle Huppert isn’t able to make this seem believable, which should tell you a lot about The Bedroom Window. The cast also includes Elizabeth McGovern, Maury Chaykin, and Mark Margolis.