The Shrink, The Patient and The Professor
At a party which she reluctantly attended, psychiatrist Tess Parker (JoBeth Williams) is taken by the smooth Paul Tomlinson (Pierce Brosnan) who charms her in to joining him for a romantic moon lit walk along the beach. The trouble is that during a session with Carla (Virginia Madsen), her patient, she describes exactly the same thing which happened with her lover who ended up treating her badly and is responsible for her needing therapy. Conflicted by what she thinks may be happening but is hooked on the smooth and sexy Paul despite feeling there is something about him which isn't just right Tess tries to work out what is going on.
So in one corner we have Tess who has started dating this sexy man, in the other we have Carla her patient who everything she says about a lover seems to tie in to her. The first question is? Is Tess being paranoid, being stalked by Carla or just really unfortunate to have started dating her patient's lover who she is still hung up on. The thing is that it is not very interesting when it comes to the actual mystery of this because the possibilities are too forced and you feel like you are being intentionally toyed with when Paul exits Tess' office through one door and shortly after Carla walks in because for the movie to go anywhere it can only be one thing.
But then there is the other part of the movie as Tess just has to dig around in Paul's background as she is already spooked by his mysterious side especially over his wife who died. The trouble is that like the first part it isn't that effective and you really long for something really interesting to happen. And by interesting let me tell you I don't mean some quasi erotic scene where we get Pierce Brosnan with his short off and some sexy sax music which dates the movie almost as much as the fashions with what feels like a last hoorah for the shoulder pad.
Now I won't tell you how this plays out although I will say there is a twist. But what I will say is that whilst there are tones of Hitchcock going on for the most this movie relies on Pierce Brosnan as Mr. Sexy which maybe erratically sucking on JoBeth Williams' neck did seem sexy back in 1991 but now is more cheesy than anything else. In truth none of the performances are that effective with even Virginia Madsen failing to bring much to the character of Carla other than her beauty.
What this all boils down to is that "Victim of Love" may have raised some pulses and floated a few boats back in 1991 with its suggestively erotic side but now it ends up dull and quite uninteresting. In fact about the only chance that "Victim of Love" has of entertaining anyone now is if they watch because they are a fan of one of the movie's stars.