Time: 107 Minutes
Being a big fan of Hitchcock's DIAL M FOR MURDER, I was a bit dismayed when I heard they were remaking it. The original is a wonderful, suspense-filled, character-driven murder mystery that needs no updating. Paltrow has the role of the naive, cheating wife and she does an OK job as the woman everyone wants dead. At least she's not forced to be as clueless and trusting a woman as Grace Kelly portrayed in the original (though Kelly was far more luminous and sympathetic), but she's not as smart as I'd hoped she'd be either.
Emily has a career at the U.N., as an aid to an ambassador, speaks several languages and has a trust fund to die for. She truly believes that she's in love with David (Mortensen) and has the strength of character to even feel quite guilty about their affair. It still didn't make her sympathetic enough for me to really care what happened to her. She does finally figure it all out in the end, and takes matters into her own hands, but for a woman who's husband all but tells her she's about to die, she doesn't catch on very quickly. When the man you're living with says to you, "You never know you could be dead tomorrow," or something to that effect, go home, pack your bags and disappear because, baby, you won't be waking up in the morning if you stay.
All we ever find out about their marriage is that Steven doesn't understand her, doesn't even want to know who she really is. A good reason to find someone else, but don't you think that would have been fairly apparent when you were dating him? We never find out what made Emily marry him in the first place. If she wasn't richer than him, we could assume that's why she would marry someone old enough to be her father (even if he is as handsome as Douglas). This is a major hole in the plot. By telling us why she fell in love with Steven and what went wrong (which they do quite cleverly in the original), we would be able to sympathize with her when it doesn't work out. As it plays out here, she's just a misunderstood little girl married to a boring older man.