Sleeping with the Enemy is a 1991 thriller, based on the successful Nancy Price novel of the same name. Directed by Joseph Ruben, this film coincided with Roberts’ popularity at the time after being Oscar nominated for Steel Magnolias and there was a lot of buzz around the then unreleased Pretty Woman. However despite Julia Roberts’ current popularity the role was originally offered to Kim Basinger and it was only a last minute decision by Basinger to drop out. The film received a great reception upon release, and did very well at the box office, grossing over $175 million worldwide and an additional $46 million in video rentals upon its video release.
Laura (Julia Roberts) and Martin have been married for four years. They seem to be the perfect, happiest and most successful couple. The reality of their house-hold, however, is very different. Martin is an abusive and brutally obsessed husband. Laura is living her life in constant fear and waits for a chance to escape. She finally stages her own death, and flees to a new town and new identity. But when Martin finds out that his wife is not dead he will stop at nothing to find and kill her.
Unfortunately I found Sleeping with the Enemy to be a very overrated film; I was expecting something really quite enjoyable but came away feeling disappointed. The story is a good one, but to carry an entire film it needs to be more entertaining and this picture simply became more sleep-inducing the further the running town went on. Julia Roberts did as she was told, but the effort wasn’t there. The villain was weak, and the ending was absolutely dreadful. It went for the cliché ending, where Martin was a supersonic beast who wouldn’t stay down, and it just annoyed me to be honest.