FILMS

Murder on the fitness trail

BEDROOM EYES (Directed by William Fruet)

JANE O’HARA January 28 1985
FILMS

Murder on the fitness trail

BEDROOM EYES (Directed by William Fruet)

JANE O’HARA January 28 1985

Murder on the fitness trail

FILMS

BEDROOM EYES

(Directed by William Fruet)

Bedroom Eyes, directed by William Fruet, is ostensibly a murder mystery, but in fact it is more a hymn of praise to Young Urban Professionals, a group whose members’ main preoccupation is adding to their Gross Personal Product. A Yuppie movie has two essential ingredients: career and clothes come ahead of character, and decor takes precedence over human drama. The result, in Bedroom Eyes, is a plot as insipid as that favored Yuppie beverage, a white-wine spritzer.

Harry Ross (Kenneth Gilman), a hard-driving stockbroker whose white Mercedes attracts a lot of parking tickets, is jogging one night through the gentrified streets of Toronto’s Cabbagetown district. The camera zooms in on dog excrement, giving it pivotal importance. Because Harry steps in it—and then stops to clean off his Adidas—he notices flashing red strobe lights coming from the living room of a house. When he peeps through the window and sees a red-haired woman undressing, it causes his heart to pump faster than his nighttime jog has ever done. Compulsively, he returns every night to watch the sexual goings-on of the occupant and her male and female partners.

But life as Peeping Harry does not rest easily in the hero’s mind, and he consults a psychiatrist. To Harry’s surprise, Dr. Alixe Barnes (Dayle Haddon) turns out to be a woman who wears a leather skirt and silk blouse. But Barnes’s licence should be revoked, because her approach to psychotherapy consists of pursing her lips in a coy come-on to her client. As well, it fails: Harry returns to peer at Cabbagetown sex. Then he witnesses a killing.

What plot the movie has completely falls apart when the police charge hapless Harry with the murder, which he and Barnes then set out to solve. She hides Harry in her glass-walled apartment but, like every good Yuppie, she puts her career first, assuring him as she leaves for work, “I’ll be back at one, then we can unravel this thing.”

As the movie winds to a tedious close, the mystery becomes a total muddle and no one ever solves the case. Gilman’s cross-eyed performance as Harry is one of the few bright spots in this badly scripted, ill-conceived movie. Like Harry’s car, which got ticketed any time a policeman spotted it, Bedroom Eyes should have remained hidden from view.

-JANE O’HARA