Living with the Enemy (2005)
So I Married a Ruthless Businessman
Trust me and not the lies of others - Phillip Lauder
A young bride who married a billionaire after a whirlwind romance discovers that his success may have come from a hidden past. That doesn't sound the most original of ideas and to be honest made for TV movie "Living with the Enemy" isn't the most original of thrillers. In fact with it being a TV movie a lack of originality is not the only problem which keeps it running at best as just an average thriller. But the thing is that "Living with the Enemy" is thrilling because it does one thing right and that is present us with a lot of feasible possibilities as the mystery thickens. It means that when we eventually discover the truth it isn't plucked out of the air but has managed to keep us guessing, it's just a shame that the plot has a few too many contrivances and holes to work as a truly decent thriller.
Attending an IT conference as PA to the bitchy Bev (Maxim Roy), Allison (Sarah Lancaster) finds herself being swept off her feet by billionaire software developer Phillip Lauder (Mark Humphrey - I'll Be Seeing You) who after just a few dates proposes. But having married Phillip Allison discovers life is very different living in his mansion which is full of security and also having to deal with his controlling sister Tonya (Susan Glover) who is less than welcoming. But she also has to deal with what she doesn't know as she is approached by the FBI who are suspicious over Phillip's business practices as those who are a threat have turned up dead. Realising she knows little about the man she married she starts snooping around but in doing so puts her life in danger.
Now right from the start you have to go with the flow when it comes to "Living with the Enemy" especially when it comes to the whirlwind romance between Phillip and Allison. In fairness this quick romance is really just a way to have Allison married to Phillip and knowing little about the man who whisked her off her feet but even so a proposal after just a few days and a couple of dates is one of those unbelievable things you have to accept. There are more issues to follow such as the fact that Allison discovers that Phillip's home has security and surveillance everywhere yet she uses the home phone to make secret calls. It is these things which end up spoiling the movie and if only they had been worked out in a more complete matter than "Living with the Enemy" could have been better than average.
Anyway as to the story, well there is a certain amount of cliche to this as Allison discovers that the FBI are investigating Phillip and his company and in doing so she discovers his mysterious past. There are questions over the death of his first wife Monique and the envelope she discovers that contains evidence that her husband's rivals have been killed. It leads us to suspect that maybe Phillip has made his fortune by being ruthless; in fact the movie opens with a computer geek getting killed in a hit and run. As such the whole secret meetings that Allison has with the FBI, the people who turn up dead and the shady security men who monitor her are all very cliche.
But then "Living with the Enemy" does one thing very right and it gives us possibilities and makes them feasible as we learn that someone is playing God and getting rid of threats. There is Phillip who at times sounds ruthless and acts creepy and there is his controlling sister Tonya who is less than welcoming of Allison. Then there is Houston, Phillip's right hand man who basically runs the business plus there is the security guard who is always watching Allison. Each of these people could be behind the killings but we also question whether the woman who says she is FBI is really who she says she is. And so when everything finally comes out in the open and we learn who is the ruthless person behind the murders of rivals and threats it is more believable because unlike so many TV movies it isn't plucked out of thin air.
What this all boils down to is that "Living with the Enemy" has the basis for a good thriller and if more time had been taken to flesh out the contrivances then it would have been an above average TV movie. But because there are too many contrivances and plot holes "Living with the Enemy" sadly ends up entertainingly average.
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