When I began watching Her Alibi, I mistook it as a thriller – that’s the way it’s certainly set up in its first 15 minutes. But as the first elements of comedy start to appear, they’re certainly not of the subtle kind, and as the 30 minute mark closes in, it becomes clear that Her Alibi derives all of its humour from the same basic setup: The writer of cheap detective novels suspecting his new eastern european girlfriend to be an assassin, after his life, and the hilarious slapstick that ensues from this, including the novelist getting his bottock pierced by an arrow.
The script makes Tom Selleck come of as a total schmuck – if a lovable one – but doesn’t give her object of desire Paulina Porizkova even that: She feels throughout the movie as distant and rude to the viewer as she does to our hero. Porizkova’s inexperience as an actress is most obvious in the already so-and-so comedic situations where a seasoned comedienne could’ve possibly still done her bit to save the scene.
Ok, so the movie made me snicker a few times. The dinner scene was well prepared with the viewer set up to anticipate the coming up gag long before it takes place, and the final scene with the neighbour setting the record straight got a good belly laugh from me. It seems after this scene that the movie has a possibility to redeem itself, but woefully it just returns to the path of weak design choices, including the ending involving some actual clowns.
Because clowns are funny.